National

Child under 6 donates organs for transplant; second case ever in Japan

Kyodo

Several organs were harvested Monday from a young girl after she was declared brain dead, according to officials of the Japan Organ Transplant Network.

The organ transplantation case is only the second involving a child under the age of 6 in Japan.

Transplantation of her lungs, specifically — to be given to a boy under the age of 10 — will be the first case involving a donor under the age of 15, the officials said.

“It would be a great consolation for us who will be left behind if our daughter can save the lives of other children at the end of her short life,” the girl’s parents, who consented to the procedure, said in a statement.

The girl was hospitalized at Juntendo University Hospital in Tokyo due to a brain disorder.

Her family agreed to provide her heart, lungs, liver, pancreas, kidneys and small intestine, but transplantation of the pancreas and small intestine was canceled for medical reasons, according to the network.

The heart is expected to be given to a boy under 10 and the liver to a teenage girl, the network said.

A doctor diagnosed the girl Friday as viable for brain death declaration and her family agreed to provide the organs after the hospital confirmed her condition was not connected to abuse, the network said.

She was declared brain dead on Sunday.

Under the revised organ transplant law that took effect in 2010, organs can be taken from anyone regardless of age with family consent, unless the individual in question explicitly refused.

But tougher brain-death criteria are applied to children under 6.

The first case, in June 2012, involved a boy who was declared brain dead at Toyama University Hospital.

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