Organ Donation, the Gift of Life in Mexico
We have discussed the subject of dying in Mexico and the importance of a Mexican will, but it is also important to deal with another difficult topic which many people do not discuss with their loved ones, that is becoming an organ donor.
National Transplant Center reports that 20,420 people are waiting on an organ or tissue transplant in Mexico. A large percent of those patients are awaiting a kidney transplant.
It is very difficult for families of patients in Mexico, often they are expected to find blood donors or organ donors themselves as there are not enough donors or proper procedures in place to search or allocate organs.
There are many reasons people do not register as organ donors; although many people intend to they may never get around to registering, some may not register due to religion and some due to mistrust of medical professionals. In many cases, it is the deceased family who refuses to give consent. According to the National Transplant Center, 76% of next of kin will deny consent to donate the organs of their deceased family member.
This week the Senate approved the legal reform of “Ley General De Salud” stating that all Mexicans over the age of 18 are automatically potential organ donors when they pass away. Under this reform, assuming there are no medical complications, the organs and tissues will be considered a donation without requiring the family’s consent, unless the deceased had previously expressed in writing their refusal to be an organ donor. As many people procrastinate registering to be a donor, now that procrastination will benefit others and save lives.
The goal of this reform is to improve the donor culture in Mexico, save lives and inhibit illegal organ trafficking. The reform was passed in the Senate with 75 votes in favor, 0 against, and one abstained. The amendment will now go before the Chamber of Deputies for final approval.
There is no specific wording to assume this new reform includes foreigners, if you wish to become an organ donor we suggest you register as an organ donor by completing this form and prepare a living will (Voluntad Anticipada), and make certain your next of kin is aware of your wishes.