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Karnataka mulls last rites of organ donors with state honors

Bengaluru: The Karnataka government is set to create a comprehensive organ donation policy, drawing inspiration from the successful model in Tamil Nadu, with the aim of raising awareness about organ donation in the state.

State Health Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao announced this initiative and expressed the government’s commitment to recognise and honor individuals and families involved in organ donation on purely humanitarian grounds.

New policy soon

Under the proposed policy, Karnataka will follow the Tamil Nadu approach by conducting the final rites of organ donors in a dignified manner. Furthermore, the government is considering providing full state honors during the last rites of such benefactors, acknowledging their charitable acts. Certificates will be awarded to either the families or the donors themselves, emphasizing the government’s appreciation for their selfless contributions.

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Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao explained that these steps are the initial phase of a broader plan to increase awareness and participation in organ donation. Karnataka intends to study Tamil Nadu’s successful organ donation policy as a reference and even plans to send a team to learn from their experience. However, the state government is prioritizing simpler yet meaningful steps to begin with, supporting and encouraging the families of donors as a gesture of true appreciation.

The ultimate goal is to create a stronger sense of awareness about organ donation and motivate more people to participate in this noble cause.

Tamil Nadu leads the path

On 23 September 2023 Tamil Nadu chief minister MK Stalin announced that his government would accord full state honors to the funeral of organ donors from the state. A decision to this effect was taken to honor the sacrifices made by those declared brain dead and their family members who came forward to donate the organs thereby saving several lives.

Based on the statistics presented by National Organ and Tissue Transplantation Organization (NOTTO), at present Karnataka stands third in organ donation in the country. From 105 dead organ donors, Karnataka increased the number to 151 in 2022. This is an increase of 43%. As many as 759 organs were retrieved from the dead donors.

Telangana is known to be a leader in deceased organ donation. It recorded 194 donors, followed by Tamil Nadu with 154 donors during 2022.

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