Officials at all but one of the 18 medical centers where brain-death tests have been conducted for transplants feel that organ donations from brain-dead donors are burdensome, health ministry officials said Thursday, citing a study.
The survey by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry found that staff at 12 of the 18 centers want to simplify the organ donation process and alleviate doctors’ responsibilities, they said.
In a questionnaire distributed to the 18 facilities where the brain-death assessments were conducted in accordance with the Organ Transplant Law, 16 indicated it is bothersome to respond to questions from the media on brain-death tests and transplants.
Thirteen said they had to increase staff to carry out organ donations from brain-dead patients.
More than half of the 18 said it is burdensome to shoulder the extra expenses for organ donations, carry out brain-death tests, have a third party verify the process and preserve the organs in the bodies of brain-dead patients prior to transplant.
Seven said they are planning to ease doctors’ liabilities and simplify the donation process, while five others said they will seek the dispatch of transplant experts.
The law requires medical facilities to conduct complicated brain-death assessments twice. The entire process from certifying brain death to transplanting organs into recipients usually takes more than two days.
Takashi Owada, a professor at Kitasato University and the head of a ministry research team that did the study, said it is necessary to establish a system to reduce medical facilities’ burdens as well as to publicly promote organ donations from brain-dead people.
So far, 20 people in Japan have been declared brain-dead under the law and 19 transplants have been conducted using organs from such patients.
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