Having the desire to become an eye donor is very commendable, and it should be widely encouraged all over the world. The benefits reaped by the recipients of those who donate eyes are truly transforming because many get a new lease on life by having their eyesight restored. Some potential donors may not be aware of the process involved in becoming an eye donor. This process may differ slightly in different countries, but the general facts remain the same. The following are some steps that should be taken by those who desire to donate their eyes after death.
- Make a decision
The first step to becoming an eye donor is to make a decision. Potential eye donors need to firmly decide that this is what they truly desire to happen after their death. This decision should get inspired by the realisation that their eye donation will go a long way in improving the lives of the recipients.
- Find out the eligibility requirements
In most countries, there are few barriers for those who would like to donate eyes. There is usually no discrimination against any blood group, sex, or age. However, doctors may need to go through the medical family history of the potential donor as well as check the condition of the eyes, especially the cornea. There may also be a need to test for some diseases such as HIV and hepatitis since people suffering from them do not qualify to be eye donors. It is also important to note that those who die by drowning cannot be eye donors.
- Inform family and friends, especially next of kin
The family members, especially the next of kin of the eye donor, must be aware of the decision made. It will prevent any unnecessary delays and conflicts when the eyes need to get harvested after death. It may also be necessary for a lawyer to be informed, and it could be useful to include a clause in the legal will of eye donor that clearly states the desire for the eyes to be donated.
- Register through organisations that network with eye banks
There are several organisations, especially in India, that seek to build a registry of eye donors. They closely network with eye banks so that those who desire to become eye donors can be registered and linked conveniently. Potential eye donors should register through such organisations so that the entire process of eye harvesting can be done smoothly after death.
The above steps are a general guideline that will help potential eye donors to have the assurance that their noble intentions will get entirely carried out.