What is organ donation?
Organ donation is the great and noble act of donating functional organs after people die and transplanting them to patients who need the organs to continue living.
Under what circumstances can organs be donated?
I. Most organ donors are patients with brain injuries or severe strokes. With the consent of their family members, after the patient is pronounced brain dead by the doctor in accordance with the rigorous procedures stipulated by laws and regulations, the organ harvesting operation can be performed, so that good deed can be performed and the other person saved. If the cause of death is not a disease or a suspected disease, organ harvesting can only be carried out with the consent of a prosecutor. II. Clinically, patients who are not brain dead can donate tissues, such as corneas, bones, skin, etc. after they pass away.
What is brain death?
The brain is the command center for the human nervous system. If the brainstem function is lost, the patient will be pronounced brain dead. In the case of brain death, the artificial life support system can maintain breathing and the heartbeat but, once this is removed, the signs of life will stop immediately. At present, brain death is recognized as a real death both legally and medically. However, since the determination of brain death is a matter of life and death, Taiwan’s law stipulates detailed and precise judgment steps for brain death and restrictions on the qualifications of doctors pronouncing such matter in order to ensure correctness of the judgment.
Will consenting to organ donation affect the quality of the patient's medical care?
It is the responsibility of all medical staff to save lives. They will do everything in their power to save the patient’s life and will not be affected by the patient’s willingness to donate organs. Moreover, doctors can only perform organ or tissue harvesting after the patient has been pronounced dead according to law.
Does any religion forbid organ donation?
The doctrines of Buddhism, Catholicism, Taoism, Islam, I-Kuan Tao, and Christianity all agree that organ donation can help save lives. Master Cheng Yen said, “Organ donation is a manifestation of compassion and great aspirations. It can expand one’s personal wisdom.
What is a living donor transplant?
Healthy adults can donate a kidney or part of a liver to a relative who complies with the regulations on human organ transplantation. This is called a "living donor transplant". In addition, we can also donate bone marrow to patients who need a bone marrow transplant.
How to express your wish for organ donation?
If you wish to donate your organs, you can sign a consent form for organ donation. After signing, we will register your consent and forward it to the Taiwan Organ Registry and Sharing Center. Your wish to donate your organs will be recorded in your NHI card. The methods of obtaining consent for organ donation are as follows:
You can contact the Hospital’s Social Service Department or apply at the organ donation service counter of during business hours.
You can also download the consent form for organ donation (please click here) and mail it to the Hospital’s Social Service Department or the Taiwan Organ Registry and Sharing Center (official website).
Can the decision on organ donation consent be changed?
Organ donation is a personal wish. If you change your decision, please fill in the Declaration of Withdrawal on Organ Donation Decision (click here) and mail it to the Taiwan Organ Registry and Sharing Center to revoke the original consent.
How do I know if my donation decision has been added to the NHI IC card?
When you come to the hospital for medical treatment, you can hand the NHI card to the staff at the cashier counter to check whether the record has been completed through the Hospital’s computer system. You can also use your Natural Person Certificate to check on the website of the Taiwan Organ Registry and Sharing Center.
Must one donate organs once the consent form has been signed?
As long as you can agree with and accept the idea of organ donation, you can sign the consent form for organ donation and have your decision recorded on the health insurance certificate (i.e., NHI card). If the signatory has not withdrawn their decision in writing or clearly expressed the unwillingness to donate organs during the clinical process, they can donate organs after death according to law. However, in practice, the doctor will still communicate with relatives present and seek their consent prior to harvesting organs.