Pairing scheme for transplants2016.03.01
THE Hospital Authority (醫院管理局 ) is considering a pairing scheme among those in need of kidneys to boost the chances of transplants.
Director of cluster services Cheung Wai-lun (張偉麟) said that under the scheme, two potential recipients whose family members are deemed unsuitable for an organ transplant may exchange donors so they can receive compatible kidneys.
Secretary for Food and Health (食物及衛生局局長) Ko Wing-man (高永文) called for more people to register as organ donors, saying the existing 190,000 potential donors in Hong Kong are insufficient to meet demand.
A working committee led by Undersecretary for Food and Health (食物及.生局副局長) Sophia Chan Siu-chee (陳肇始) will be set up this year to get more people to sign up, as the waiting list for organ donations remains at around 2,000.
Ko said a study on the feasibility of a programme where people who do not opt out will automatically be considered part of the organ-donation programme will be completed this year.
There were 128 transplants last year, with 14 involving hearts, 13 for lungs, 36 livers and 65 kidneys.
Cheung said families generally agreed to obey their loved one’s wishes for their organs to be donated. The dilemma for families whose loved ones do not sign up is the fear they are not acting in line with wishes.
As such, only 40 to 50 percent of families of brain-dead patients consented to donations.
An event was organised by the Hong Kong Society of Transplantation (香港移植學會 ) and Healthlink (香港健康網絡) on 28 February to thank donors.
(This article is published on The Student Standard on 2 March 2016)
Organ donation opt-out scheme may save lives