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Corneal donation

- None so blind as those who won't see

English proverb

In the world there live millions of people who have lost eyesight due to heredity, severe illnesses and injuries. And these blind people as they all want to live a full life, without feeling weak and worthless, and to go to work, to see how their children and grandchildren grow, to perceive the world in its all beauty.

Thanks to achievements in science, technology and medicine, the latest in modern technologies, which allow in a certain way to process the tissues of a deceased person and get out of them materials that save thousands of lives not only of newborns, but also help many patients avoid disability or loss of working ability.

Such materials, which are called bioimplants, have been successfully applied in cases of many severe diseases of the musculoskeletal system, for replacement of tissue defects in pediatric surgery, in strip surgery, neurosurgery, surgical dentistry and ophthalmology – both for children and adults.

The process of obtaining donor tissues from a deceased person is possible only in the performance of the Order of the Ministry of HealthCare of Ukraine №357 from 19.07.2005 "On Amendments to the Order of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine from 25.09.2000 №226": removal of anatomical structures, tissues, their components and fragments for the production of bioimplants from a cadaver donor (including the capture of a fragment of the eyeball – keratolimbal disc with the cornea) is carried out only with the written consent in accordance with the Law "On transplantation of organs and other anatomic materials of man" and / or the Law "On the burial and funeral business. " Health care organizations that have the right to engage in this activity by the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, by qualified and specially trained physicians under aseptic conditions and in special dissecting rooms Is carried out the collection of eye fragments, specifically the keratolimbal disk. Subsequently, the disk keratolimbal is transferred into Dnipropetrovsk department of the State Enterprise "Bioimplant" The Ministry of HealthCare of Ukraine ", where, after repeated researches – biological, virological, microbiological, studies of endothelial cell layer, is made a high-quality and safe medical product – a corneal graft. The last one is used to provide specialized eye care with restoration of vision and working ability, increasing their quality of life after serious damage, injuries, and many destructive diseases of the cornea that require surgical intervention.

A huge number of people over the years have been on a waitlist of a donor cornea. Thousands of people have been waiting for a chance to be healed.

It should be noted that in other countries, where there is a high culture of tissues donation and there is no lack of them, the sphere of corneal specimen implantation develops much faster.

In Ukraine, now operates the Law "On transplantation of organs and other anatomic human materials", which allows to collect tissues for the manufacture of bio-implants, only if the person agrees to be a donor, or if such consent is obtained from relatives or, in the absence of such, from close relatives of the deceased, who have committed themselves to bury the deceased.

The hardest part in the decision to consent or not – making it immediately after the death of a close, dear person, when the sense of irretrievable loss of has not gone and is not fully realized.

In this very hard and tragic moment, the person receiving the consent, should help to make this important and correct decision, to inform about the needs and sorrows of other strangers, even when any kind of information is perceived with difficulty by relatives.

This is the tragedy of post-mortem donation – in our country there is no real and easy possibility to accomplish one’s lifetime consent to become a donor voluntarily. Often people living a full life, do not think about the donation as such and, in the case of sudden death, the decision must be taken immediately, and this decision is not only personal, but the decision for someone of his or her relatives. In 1975, psychologist Elizabeth Kubler-Ross wrote that death is "dreadful and terrible question," and people are doing their best to avoid talking about it.

So, please, think of those who are near to you, discussed all the issues that you may have in an emergency situation – these are difficult conversations, but in their course you will learn each other closer, and you will know moral will of your dearest person – it and will be the only right solution.

Often people are afraid of religious responsibility in deciding whether to consent to the posthumous donation.

Major religions have a favorable opinion on the subject, for example, Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant churches, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam.

Here is the expression of known religious figures from antiquity to the present day:

The text from the 25th chapter the Gospel from Matthew about the Last Judgment: "... Verily I say to you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

Pastor Henry Drummond in one of the sermons of 1890 toldabout the last meeting with the Creator: "At that moment for the man will not be the main question: "How am I alive?" The main question will be: "How did I love?" The ultimate measure of our success on the way of salvation is love. What we did, in what we believed, what we achieved – all that will not be taken into account. Not for this God will exact from us, but how we love our neighbor. Our errors will not even be remembered. We will be judged for the good that we have not committed. To lock love inside means to go against the Holy Spirit. It also means that we never knew Him, that His love for us was vain."

Pope of Rome Benedict XVI, November 7, 2008 at International Congress "A gift for life. Questions about organ donation"": "Tissue and organ transplantation represent a great victory for medical science and is a symbol of hope for many dying patients or those who survived a clinical death. Donation of organs and tissues is an exceptional form of charity. In our time, which is characterized by different forms of selfishness and self-love, even more important than it has ever been, understand that the idea of the gift of life is critical to a proper understanding of life itself. In fact, the responsibility of love and charity makes us bring our life as a gift to others, if there is a genuine desire to devote oneself to this. As the Lord Jesus taught us, the only one who gives his own life, can save it. The history of medicine shows us clearly the great progress which has made it possible to help every suffering person to find a better life ... It is necessary to abandon prejudices, misinterpretation of questions, widespread indifference and fear and replace them with certainty and guarantees to educate increased awareness of this great gift of life in everyone... "

Archbishop Luca, managing the Zaporizhzhya diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate, the article: "The presumption of disagreement or consent?" "Versions" from 13.11.2012:"A sign of a developed, especially in the moral sense, society is the willingness of people to sacrificial life-saving, capacity of a person to a conscious, informed and free consent to aid another person (donation). Therefore, the voluntary in-life consent of the donor is the condition of legitimacy and moral acceptability of organ collecting ... What is important is the formation of a positive public attitude to post-mortem donation because it does not save only one human life. State, religious and medical institutions should not only promote sympathy for those who are in a situation of dependence on vital organs donations, but also to cultivate trust in the seriousness and importance of the organ transplantation process."

Saints Cosmas and Damian – brothers, miracle healers, allegedly lived in the second half of III - beginning of IV century: saved a hopeless patient by conducting a surgery on transplanting a leg from a recently deceased Moor in place of amputated ulcer leg of the patient.

In Spain, 85% of people agree on the collection of organs and tissues after death, which, by the way, was helped by the church: on the doors of many churches in Spain hangs a sign "Do not take your organs to heaven. There, they will not be useful. Leave them here, they will be useful on the ground."

Angela Merkel- German politician, leader of the Christian Democratic Union, in 2008 in Germany, was the first to publicly sign an agreement on collecting her organs in case of death.

Transplantation and bioimplantation pursue the same goals – to save the lives of hopelessly ill people, the treatment of which by all other methods is ineffective and / or allow sick people whose lives are limited by their physical ailments, to return to full normal living. However, these two close branches of medicine have significant differences that must be understood.

In transplantation there is a concept of "brain death" – a state of brain death, during which, by means of resuscitation, are still alimented cardiovascular and respiratory systems, which create the illusion of life. In fact, all the organs except the brain provided by artificial or medical support can function. If the will of the deceased is unknown, the agreement to the removal of organs for transplantation is taken from his relatives, who must agree, knowing that his heart is still beating. Organs for donation are removed in the intensive care unit or operating room and proceed a short-term preservation, because organs for transplantation can be stored no more than a few hours.

In bioimplantology organs are not collected, and consent to the removal of anatomical structures, tissues, their fragments and components for the production of bio-implants taken from relatives of the deceased after the biological death of the whole organism and early postmortem changes are clearly seen. Anatomical growths, tissues, their fragments and components are collected in the morgue (e.g. cornea), they undergo thorough and lengthy selection and processing of tissues for the purpose of producing high-quality and safe for implantation medications – bio-implants used to provide specialized surgical care to seriously ill people.

"Often, at the peak of the pain of loss, close regret that agreed on the donation. It must be remembered that the intense moral pain disrupts rational arguments. This duality is an integral part of the life experience and does not diminish the value of the donation." Dr. Holtkemp "Something bigger"

In moments of doubt about the donation, imagine yourself in the place of the patient, waiting for your help. It may seem hard only for that one who was never sick (but it is unknown whether he may suffer from such trouble with time) and did not see the suffering of his loved ones.

Close your eyes and stay a while in this state. Of course, you will want to make some sort of action when your eyes are closed – try ... And imagine what feels that poor person deprived of normal things for each person – sense of vision. What would you think about cornea donation, being blind and needing it that much?!

Many people are concerned about the issue – whether it will "hurt" the deceased if a part of his body tissues will remain on the ground. They ask: "What will happen after death? “For this question the answer is only one: the body is inevitably prone to rot and become the soil, which we know is true. About what will happen with that one which we call the soul, we cannot say anything …" L. Tolstoy "My way".

What really happens to the human body after death from a medical point of view: the body swells due to the escaping gases of putrefaction, the blood turns into dirty green color, all the soft human tissues decompose under the influence of natural processes (decay, destruction by insects and their larvae ...), become mushy, turning into a foul-smelling liquid and then comes skeletonization of a corpse. Confirmation of that we find in the Bible, the Old Testament, the Book of Job: "A man dies and decays; passed away and where is he? Man in his pomp will not remain: he is like the beasts that perish. As the water evaporates from a lake, as a river disappears in drought, so man lies down for the3 last time and does not rise again until the heavens are no more; he shall not awaken, nor be roused from his sleep...if I call out to the pit, ‘you are my father’ to the worm, ‘you are my mother and sister’…”

Nobody wants to be a witness to the rapid decay, which is exposed to the body of the deceased dearest person – so people try to make the rite of burial or cremation as fast as possible, and not to think about it.

Due to human development, was created a scientific and medical direction - bioimplantology, as an alternative to the inevitable processes of putrefaction and decay of a physical body, which after the death of the organism as a whole, gives a chance to separate tissues for a second life, as a result, a piece body can continue to live on earth and give immense joy of existence to another neighbor.

Bearing in mind the performance of the covenants of Jesus Christ, about the value of human life, about the love to the neighbor, Jesus' miracles of healing people, we can surely assume that consent to tissue donation in the name of helping the patients in need, can only help the soul to reach the sacred place of peace.

In the projects of current medical reform it is provided that the order about consent to the posthumous donation must be submitted by citizens to the polyclinic according to a place of residence – and be kept in a special nation-wide electronic registry.

This decision is not final, and a person can change it at any time.

"Freedom of choice is the greatest of the gifts that God has given to His children." E. Kubler-Ross

It is important to notify the closest relatives about your decision. According to Ukrainian legislation, the donation of cornea is always performed free of charge and anonymously.

"... Sight is primary to language. The child already sees and understands, although is not yet able to speak. But the vision is primary and in a different sense. Understanding our place in the world is formed precisely because of vision; we explain the world by words, but the words have nothing to do with the fact that we are surrounded by this world ..." John Berger "The art of seeing."

Vision – is a reflection of the world within us, and when we lose sight – there comes darkness and isolation from the world, a sense of loneliness and despair ... It is impossible to look without admiration at people of who are unable to see, but, nevertheless, deeply feel and understand the world. They are trying, without giving up, to enjoy a full social life, in spite of the shaky hope for the return of vision, and sometimes hopelessness of it. They certainly deserve respect and a desire to help them. And if for many of them, keratoplasty is the only way to restore sight – everyone can help.

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