New Delhi: Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today said that formulating any law to encourage organ donation was a complex issue in view of the illegal rackets involved in it, especially the medical fraternity.
"When I see this (law to encourage organ donation) it is a complex issue. How do we encourage organ donation and how do we stop racket involvement in transplant? That is an issue which troubles me a lot," Prasad said at a function to release the commemorative stamp marking 15 years of India's first successful liver transplant performed at Apollo Hospitals.
He was responding to a proposal by Apollo Hospitals Group Chairman Dr Prathap C Reddy that there should be a law under which a living person could 'opt out' of organ donation after his death, and automatically organs of rest of the people can be used for transplant.
"This can resolve crisis of organ transplant and the person can live through many more lives in different people even after he is no more," Reddy said at the function.
The Minister in his response said that in principle he supported the basic premise of the idea which has good intention, but asked, "Can we say there is no racket in organ transplant?"
"We have come across complaints in which unfortunately many elements of medical fraternity have been found involved and many of them are in jail," he said.
The first successful pediatric and adult liver transplants in India were performed at Apollo Hospitals in New Delhi in 1998.
Sanjay Kandaswamy, then a two-year-old boy from Kancheepuram, who was the first child to receive a successful transplant on November 15, 1998, was also present on the occasion.
At present, about 900 liver transplants are performed annually in India, Apollo Hospitals Group Medical Director Anupam Sibal said.