PUTRAJAYA, Oct 8 — A centralised data system will be set up to store information on organ donors, which can be accessed by health centres nationwide.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said this would provide the necessary information on donors after they die and can be verified with family members.
“When an organ donor dies and we find their pledge in the system, then we can inform the family members and it is up to them whether we can proceed with the organ donation if there is a need.
“Usually, families tend to honour the pledges but once in a while we come across situations where families voice objections,” he told the press during a function at his residence yesterday.
Dr Subramaniam said doubts from family members on the authenticity of the pledge as well as being uninformed of the pledge made were primary reasons the process of organ transplantation after death was rejected.
He said such issues in organ donor pledges need to be looked into before the ministry looked into amending existing laws to ensure pledgers had their wishes granted after death.
“Those areas where there are weaknesses, we would need to look into and ensure it is strong.
“We are also looking to see if this is widespread before we look into current laws. Family members should not be in the way of organ donation pledges,” he said.
On Wednesday, Deputy Minister of Health, Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya said those who pledged to organ donation were advised to inform family members as hospitals are required to get the consent from the family before proceeding.
Dr Hilmi said until August 31, 394,809 people registered as organ donors but the actual number of organ donors after death is 620 since the programme was launched in 1975.
There are more than 21,000 patients on the organ donor waiting list, with majority being kidney failure patients followed by liver, heart and lung.
Organ donation in Malaysia is governed by the Human Tissues Act 1974 (Act 130), which regulates matters related to consent and authorisation of human organs removed from deceased donors.
The Organ and Tissue Transplantation Bill drafted in 2015, was to replace Act 130, set to ban organ trading and regulate living organ donations.
The Bill was reported to be tabled in Parliament before the end of the year.