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January 18, 2011

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Home » Metro » Health and Science

Organ donation for transplant proposed

ORGANS from people who donate their bodies to science in the city may soon be available for use in transplants.

Shanghai People's Congress, the local lawmaker, has included this amendment of the city's 10-year-old rules on donated bodies for consideration in this year's agenda.

This follows a proposal by Dr Zhu Tongyu during the annual session of top political advisory body the Shanghai Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

Zhu proposed that the city allows organs from donated bodies to be used for transplants of key organs, such as liver, kidney and heart.

At present, people only can donate corneas for transplants, while the rest of their body is used for medical research, teaching and clinical anatomy.

Family members of people requiring transplants are encouraged to donate a kidney or part of their liver. Hospitals also have their own sources of organs, though there is no unified scheme.

In Shanghai, between 2001 and June last year, 29,064 people registered to donate either their bodies or just their corneas. Some 5,422 bodies have been donated to science.

While the number of donors is rising, the current rule doesn't include detail on organ donation, resulting in a waste of precious organs, said Zhu, a kidney transplant surgeon at Zhongshan Hospital, in his proposal.

Officials from Shanghai Red Cross, which manages body donations in the city, said regions such as Shenzhen and Wuhan have issued clear organ and body donation rules and it is time that Shanghai followed suit.

"Many donors have expressed a wish to donate their organs to save people's lives when registering with the Red Cross," said Zhou Xianglan, an official from Shanghai Red Cross.

"Compared with donating your body for medical research, donating your organs is a more practical way to save lives," she said.


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