Department of Surgery of Ospital ng Maynila Medical Center Advocacy for Organ Donation – September 25, 2012

We remove organs to save lives!

We donate organs to save lives!




Backgrounder of this advocacy:

In August 14, 2012, Dr. Angelica Montessa presented a Medical Anecdotal Report entitled Organ Donation in Dying Patient.  See below.  During the discussion, I made a  quick survey of residents who are willing to donate organs when they die.  Majority said yes.   After the conference, I instructed Dr. Montessa to make a formal survey of all the 16 residents on organ donations.  Out of 16 residents, only one said no.  After a few more discussions, there was already 100% willingness of all the residents to donate their organs when they die.  With this, we decided to do an advocacy on organ donation.

Dr. Angel Montessa invited Integrated Program for Organ Donation to give a short talk on September 25, 2012.  After the talk, all the residents received an organ donor card.  There were some consultants during the meeting – Dr. Harry Go, Dr. Hazel Turingan, Dr. Tony Yap, Dr. Marlow Esguerra, Dr. Harvey Balucating and myself.

Reasons for donating organs:

  • Legacy
  • Save lives
  • Help others

From hereon, the Department of Surgery of Ospital ng Maynila Medical Center will have a new advocacy: Organ Donation.

  • We the residents and consultants will donate our organs when we die.
  • We will have a signed organ donor card each.
  • We will help in the organ donation advocacy marketing.

Our tagline will be: We remove organs to save lives.  We donate organs to save lives.

This will be a legacy for each one of us in the Department of Surgery of Ospital ng Maynila Medical Center.

Personally, for spearheading the organ donation advocacy among my residents and consultants, this can be considered as one of the legacies that I leave behind for the Filipino people and also for the Department of Surgery of Ospital ng Maynila Medical Center.
I hope all surgeons in the country will join in the advocacy – to be role models for a successful organ donation program to save lives.

Surgeons, we remove diseased organs to save lives.  Let’s now donate our organs at the time of our death to continue to save lives!


Indexing Title:                                      AWMONTESA’S MAR [12-07]

MAR Title:                                            Organ Donation in a Dying Patient

Date of Medical Observation:           July 2012

Tag:                                                        Discussing the concept of organ donation for patients who are dying patients

Category:                                               Professional/Ethical/Reinforcement


I was the resident-on-duty when I received a call from another institution. It was a case of a 25-year old male who fell head first from a building at a height of 25 feet. The patient has a Glasgow Coma Scale score of 6 (E1V1M4) with an initial plain CT scan of comminuted fracture temporo-parietal area left, generalized cerebral edema, and subdural and epidural hematoma parietal area right. The resident told me “Doktora, actually kulang na ang budget nila at may kakilala po sila dyan sa Ospital ng Maynila.” (Doctor, actually they are short in budget and they know someone from Ospital ng Maynila). I then referred it to my senior and informed our service consultant. The transfer was immediately accepted.

Upon arrival of the patient, I talked with the father first and explained that the prognosis of the patient is poor with a high probability that he would expire. Slowly, I tried to explain and brought about organ donation and the father answered, “Excuse me, Doktora, alam ko na po iyan, eh hanggang dyan na lang ang buhay niya at isa pa marami pa siya matutulungan diba?” (Excuse me, Doctor, I already know about that, he reached the end of his life and there’s a way he could help a lot of patients, right?). I answered, “Tatay, opo, alam ninyo na po ba ang organ donation at sumasang-ayon ba kayo po dito?” (Father, yes, do you know about organ donation and do you agree with it?). He answered patiently, “Doktora, okay lang po ba na hintayin natin ang asawa at mga kapatid nya? Maraming salamat po.” (Doctor, is it okay if we wait for his wife and siblings? Thank you.) Hours passed. One by one, all of the relatives came in and started crying. I myself cannot contain the sadness and found myself teary-eyed. One of the brothers of the patient approached me and said, “Doktora, hindi ba parang kinatay ang kapatid ko? Kung kayo nasa kalagayan namin, anong gagawin mo?” (Doctor, is it like they butchered my brother? If you were in our position, what would you do?) I explained to the brother and said, “Hindi naman po sa ganun na kakatayin. Isipin niyo po na may mga matutulungan ang kapatid ninyo.” (It is not like that he will be butchered, just think that he can help many people) Then, the father of the patient approached me and told me that they now agree with the organ donation.

My junior immediately called the Human Organ Preservation Effort (HOPE) from National Kidney Transplant Institute (NKTI) to coordinate the possible donation. The staff of HOPE arrived and we endorsed the case of the patient. We waited patiently and it was already the next morning when we observed signs of brain death. We called our service consultant and pronounced the patient. Then, the transfer to HOPE was facilitated accordingly. The organ harvest was a success and this will surely help a lot of end-stage-organ patients.


(Physical, Psychosocial, Professional-Ethical)

(Discovery, Stimulus, Reinforcement)

Organ donation entails controversial ethical issues. Some people perceive it as disrespect to the human body, while others consider it a noble act. In this case, organ donation is not an easy matter to decide upon since it is intertwined to accepting the death of their loved one. As doctors, we have the power to influence the family’s decision so it is necessary that we enlighten them on the matter. We should enumerate the benefits that organ donation might offer to other needy people. We should make them understand the scientific advantage behind the act. We should make them realize that organ donation is indeed a noble act. However, it is of utmost importance to be cautious in the choice of words and in the manner of delivery to avoid any misunderstanding. Rapport development is also important so as to build a connection because the deal for an organ donation process needs a good base of communication. In any successful organ donation, the credit not only goes to the donor patient and his family, but also to the doctor who facilitated the process. The whole team is to be given due appreciation for a job well done.




Deadline:  10 pm (August 23, 2012)


Year Level:

Survey on  Surgery Residents:

Topic:     Organ Donation

  1. Would you advocate organ donation and why?
  2. If Yes? What organs are you willing to donate?
  3. If No?  Why?

Inputs from Residents:

Dr. Fonte:

  1. Yes, I advocate organ donation upon my death. I believe that those organs that would be harvested from me could let another person see and/or live. I intend to donate upon my death my eyes or part/s of them, kidneys, liver, and any other organs that could be harvested and be transplanted to another person in need.

Dr Alma Lucero:

  1. Yes I advocate organ donation. All of my organs except my skin.

Dr. Celzo:

  1. Yes I will donate.
  2. All possible organs. Because you can’t use it when you are already dead, might as well give it to someone who can still benefit from it.

Dr. Dela Cruz:

  1. Yes I advocate organ donation. I will just donate my corneas to a relative only.

Dr. OC:

  1. No I do not want to donate my organs when I die. Because I value the preservation of one’s physical being afeter he/she dies.

Dr Gervacio:

  1. Yes I advocate organ donation.
  2. I will donate everything even my skin. I won’t be using them anyways once I am dead.

Dr Montesa:

  1. Yes I will donate once I die, because through this noble act I will be able to pass something to someone who needs a donation.

Dr. De Castro:

  1. Would you advocate organ donation and why?

Yes. I want to do something good for the last time. And also I would like to have some kind of legacy to somebody even after I die.

2. If Yes? What organs are you willing to donate?

Everything that would be of use.

3. If No? Why?

Dr Oracion:

  1. Yes I advocate organ donation.
  2. Kidneys,  liver, cornea so that I would be able to help others.

Dr. Aguda:

  1. When my time comes, I am willing to give all my viable organs for the benefit of patients with organ failure. It is of sound rationale to donate my organs to the living rather than wasting it and taking it to the grave. Thank you

Dr. Abad:

  1. Yes  I would advocate organ donation. I will only donate my kidneys because there’s a lot of end-stage renal disease patients.

Dr Sanico:

  1. Yes I would advocate organ donation and I would donate all organs which may still be used.

Dr. Co:

  1. Yes, I will donate my organs if I die because I want to help other people even after death.

Dr. Siapno:

  1. Yes I will donate all.

Dr. Bersamin:

  1. Yes, I will advocate organ donation.
  2. I will give all my organs

Dr. Villanueva:

  1. Yes I will advocate organ donation
  2. All organs that can be donated.

Out of the sixteen (16) residents of Surgery Department, fifteen (15) are willing to donate their viable organs should the time of their death come. Fourteen (14) residents are willing to donate their kidneys, liver, and eyes, while one (1) resident is willing to donate only his cornea. Only one resident does not want to donate because of he believes that one must preserve what is ever left of him once he dies.  Note: eventually, this resident reversed his stand – “Reviewing my views regarding organ donations… I am willing to donate my organ to those who are in need.”

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