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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 184-188

Organ donation and the medicolegal aspects: A process analysis study of the Indian States - Observational study

1 MOHAN Foundation, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Madras Medical Mission Hospital and MOHAN Foundation, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sunil Shroff
MOHAN Foundation, 3rd Floor, Toshniwal Building, 267, Kilpauk Garden Road, Chennai - 600 010, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijot.ijot_59_21

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Context: In India, the majority of brain-dead organ donors are victims of road traffic accidents, thereby making them entities in medicolegal cases (MLC). This places an additional burden and complicates the organ donation process, as an inquest must be conducted by the police station closest to the accident spot before the possibility of organ donation is considered. Following organ retrieval and donation, a postmortem is required before the body is handed back to the police. These procedures cause delays in the organ donation process and subsequently in families receiving the body of their loved ones. The problem is compounded by the fact that there are variations in the inquest and postmortem procedures in different states. Aim: The study aims to comprehensively enumerate the medicolegal protocols followed by the states having an active deceased organ donation program. Design and Methods: A survey, using a structured questionnaire, was conducted among the senior Transplant Coordinators (key stakeholders in the organ donation process) of eight states. Their experiences handling MLC and the state protocols adhered to were captured. Results: It was found that there were differences in protocols followed by the states with respect to medicolegal organ donation cases. Significant variations were observed in the police inquest and postmortem procedures. A need for training of the police personnel in the medicolegal aspects of the organ donation process is evident from the survey responses. Conclusions: The undue delays lead to difficulties in completing the donation and also cause distress among the family members who have said yes to organ donation despite their grief. The study recommends the need for uniformity in protocols to ease pain points in this program. This is of paramount importance in instances of interstate-organ donation cases.

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