• Kyodo News


The family of a man declared brain-dead Saturday in Tohoku has consented to the harvesting of his organs for transplant, marking a record seventh transplant case in a month.

The latest case involves eight transplant recipients, the most from a single donor, not including corneas, according to the Japan Organ Transplant Network, the only entity certified as an intermediary for organ transplants in the nation.

The revised transplant law enacted in July enables organs to be harvested from brain-dead donors with the family’s consent unless the person leaves instructions to the contrary.

The law was revised as the rate of transplants had not increased under the original 1997 law, which required potential donors to express their wishes in writing.

Since the first family-consented donation on Aug. 9, there have been seven cases of organ donation, a record for a single-month period. The number includes a donation involving prior written consent.

The previous high, under the earlier law, was five cases between Jan. 9 and Feb. 8 last year.

The latest case brings to 93 the total number of transplant donors in Japan. The man was legally declared brain-dead at 4 a.m. Saturday, after his family gave consent to the process on Friday, the network said.

The revised law also paved the way for children under 15 to donate organs, but no such case has so far emerged.

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