Include Organ donation in MBBS curriculum: ROTTO asks University
Kolkata: The Paucity of cadavers in the past has led to overcrowding on medical college dissection tables and students not being able to learn through practical examination of the bodies. In some cases, students are seen to have passed out of colleges without having had a hands-on experience on dead bodies, as part of learning, due to a shortage of cadavers. In an attempt to overcome these shortages the Regional Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (Rotto) has suggested that Organ donation made part of MBBS study curriculum to the West Bengal University of Health Sciences (WBUHS).
“Our proposal to the WBUHS Vice-Chancellor is to introduce various topics encompassing organ donation in the MBBS course. We are waiting for the response. Doctors, too, need to spread awareness on organ donation. So why not start it from the classroom? If the need arises, we will also approach the Medical Council of India,” said Dr Arpita Ray Chaudhury, Rotto’s Joint Director.
The idea behind this inclusion is that doctors are sensitized to the cadaver donation needs, as they are the first point of contact with patients & relatives of the deceased. According to authorities and those involved in the task of organ donations, spreading awareness regarding brain death, organ retrieval and transplant at the level of study, would go a long way in helping promote organ donations and cadavers through doctors themselves.
“Sensitization of the medical fraternity will be of great help. Every year, nearly 2,500 students pass out of medical colleges in the state. Therefore, it would be great if they are familiarised with the topic in the college itself,” said Dr Rajendra Pandey, Head, Nephrology, SSKM Hospital.
“Every doctor must have an idea about organ donation. For example, for an RMO manning the ICU, it means a lot if he knows about brain death and organ donation. We should also think about introducing the subject even in school education so that the concept is popular among the general population,” said Dr Pratim Sengupta, a nephrologist with Belle Vue. Rotto has plans of going for a signature campaign, making every head of departments of all medical colleges to support the proposal. “When an MBBS student has an idea about this concept, it will motivate them on organ donation,” Dr Sugata Dasgupta, Critical Care Specialist, RG Kar Medical College, and Hospital. told TOI.
Researchers and pharmaceutical companies use bodies to develop new procedures and treatments. Cadavers are also used for displays as exhibits, after being plastinated. Police dogs are also trained on them for sniffing disaster victims.
Supply meanwhile, continues to remain limited. Unclaimed bodies today are also fewer in number, leading to shortages. Donations don’t come easy, due to dead bodies being revered, reports the Economist