By Macon Araneta i FilAm Star Correspondent

One deceased human being can save and improve the quality of life of eight or more individuals, Health Sec. Francisco Duque said as he  pressed for organ donation and not the sale of human organs.

“The DoH recognizes the noble and altruistic act of saving a life through committing one’s organs or tissues upon one’s death,” stressed Duque.

This can be done by signing up as organ donor cardholder and providing consent to organ donation. Indeed, organ donors are heroes of our times, Duque said.

With the passage of Republic Act No. 7170, otherwise known as the Organ Donation Act of 1991, as amended by Republic Act No. 7885, Duque said organ and tissue donations from donors who have been declared brain dead has been allowed.

Human transplantable organs include the kidneys, liver, lungs, heart, intestines, and pancreas, in addition to human tissues such as eye tissues (corneas, sclera, etc.), bones, skin, and blood vessels.

Duque said the DoH is encouraging families to consider organ donation of deceased relatives, including those who have been declared legally and medically brain dead, to help others in need of transplantation.

But they are also discouraging the incentivized organ donations, where living organ donors not related to the recipient are motivated by financial rewards.

He warned that this system would create a risk for both the donor and the recipient, exposing them to further injury.

World Health Organization data from 2017 show that deaths caused by various end-stage organ diseases involved up to 230,000 Filipinos.  This may have been prevented by organ transplantation. Unfortunately, organ donation from brain dead patients remains dismally low in the Philippines.