Omid Qobadi elucidated that while the annual incidence of brain death in Iran fluctuates between 5,000 and 8,000 cases, only approximately 3,000 of these individuals qualify for organ donation. Tragically, a mere 1,000 of these eligible donors ultimately provide their organs, while the remaining 2,000 are laid to rest with their organs intact. The primary impediment to organ donation is the absence of familial consent. Consequently, an estimated 7,000 potential donors are interred each year, alongside the 3,000 individuals who perish while awaiting life-saving transplants. If only half of these available organs had been procured, countless lives could have been saved and families reunited.
The official identified 20 factors contributing to families’ reluctance to consent to organ donation, with two salient reasons being: first, a substantial portion of the population remains unconvinced that brain death constitutes true cessation of life; and second, even when death is acknowledged, families are uncertain of their deceased loved one’s stance on organ donation. Possessing an organ donation card serves as a potent instrument to alleviate familial distress during critical moments, as the consent of the next of kin is imperative for organ donation, and the window of opportunity for organ procurement is fleeting.
To underscore the importance of organ donation, consider the poignant words of Dr. Christiaan Barnard, the pioneering heart transplant surgeon: “It is infinitely better to transplant a heart than to bury it so that it can be devoured by worms.” By embracing organ donation, we can honor the memory of our loved ones and provide the gift of life to those in dire need.