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Singapore Eye Bank

The Singapore Eye Bank (SEB) was established in 1991 as a non-profit, independent organisation. SEB aims to procure, process and distribute tissue of the highest quality for transplantations in Singapore. There is a growing list of patients in Singapore today who are either blind or suffering from corneal diseases, and are waiting for a corneal graft operation to restore their sight.

Questions & Answers about Eye Donation

What is an eye donation?
It is a meritorious act of donating your corneas upon death to restore the sight of someone blinded by corneal diseases.

What is the cornea?
The cornea is the clear transparent window at the front of the eye that allows light to enter the eye. The cornea can be damaged by injury or infection.

Why should I consider eye donation?
For many, the only hope of sight is possible when someone donates his or her cornea. Give the precious gift of sight to those in need.

Will removal of the corneas disfigure the face of the demised?
Absolutely not! The deceased is treated with respect. Only the cornea and not the whole eye is removed. The cornea is about the size and shape of a contact lens.  An open-casket funeral is still feasible as corneal removal makes no noticeable changes to the face.

Also, corneal removal is performed shortly after death and does not delay funeral arrangements.

Can I donate my eye if I have a vision problem?
Yes! Your eyes may be useful even if you have poor vision. You are never too young or too old to be an eye donor. People with short-sightedness, long-sightedness, or astigmatism can also donate their eyes. Even people with eye diseases other than corneal diseases can donate their eyes. 

How can I become an eye donor?
If you are 18 or older, you may wish to fill out an Organ Donor Card. You may also contact the Singapore Eye Bank Hotline at (65) 6322 8340. An Organ Donor Card will be issued to you by the Ministry of Health. Carry the card with you at all times to instantly alert medical personnel of your wishes.

Alternatively, you may like to let your family members know of your wish to donate your eyes.  Singapore law allows your family to donate on your behalf, so that they can fulfil your final wish to give someone the precious gift of sight.

Can my family members donate my corneas for me?
Yes.  This is how most corneas are donated in Singapore.  It is very important to let your family know of your desire to donate your corneas so that they can fulfil your wish.  In Singapore, immediate family members or next of kin are allowed to give consent for eye donation under The Medical (Therapy, Research and Education) Act, 1972.

Why is it necessary to discuss my decision with family?
A completed donor card is a legal document but may easily be misplaced. It is more important that you make your family aware about your wish to donate your corneas beforehand.

After the passing of a loved one, immediate family members are often faced with the decision as to whether they should consider eye donation. If the loved one has previously communicated a wish to donate his or her corneas, the decision is much easier for the family. Family members who are grieving may find comfort in knowing that something positive has come from a loved one's death.

Discuss any concerns that they may have
For example, let your family know that becoming a cornea donor:

  • should not interfere with funeral arrangements or disfigure the body

  • will not interfere with attempts to save your life since corneas can be donated only after death

  • still entitles you to receive the same high-quality medical care that a non-donor receives since the donation process only occurs after death

Encourage others to become donors
But, remember, becoming a donor is a personal decision.

Read more about cornea donation

To find out more, please contact:
Singapore Eye Bank
11 Third Hospital Avenue
Level 7, Singapore National Eye Centre
Singapore 168751
Tel: (65) 6322 8340