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Misinformation about organ donation driving donors away

 | June 15, 2016

Cultural taboos, gory images and videos on the Internet are among the hurdles in getting Malaysians to donate their organs, says National Transplant Resource Centre chief.

dr-lela-yasmin

KUALA LUMPUR: Misinformation and misconception about organ donation are scaring away potential donors, says National Transplant Resource Centre (NTRC) head Dr Lela Yasmin Mansor.

This is often the result of cultural taboos and fear of what happens after death, she told FMT.

“Mortality is frightening, so people don’t want to know about it.

“Fear gives rise to ignorance, and ignorance gives rise to fear. We are trying very hard to break that,” she said, adding that people refuse to accept facts given to them when they fear something.

“In the end, people do not pledge their organs even though they know that their religions allow it.”

According to her, gory images and videos available on the Internet only worsen the problem.

Lela also condemned organ trafficking syndicates that prey on the weak, poor and vulnerable and said a new Act aimed at tackling the illegal trade was currently in the works.

Lela added that Malaysia was also a signatory to the Istanbul Convention, which among others, aims to eradicate commercial organ transplants.

“We report every transplant done here and we also have a national transplant registry. Other countries and international bodies are monitoring us.”

She also said the media could play a role in “educating” the people about organ donation, and help fight public distrust about it.

Malaysians can pledge their organs by registering at the NTRC website, or alternatively, by going to public hospitals.

Related stories: National organ pledges double in five years


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