Govt amends Transplantation of Human Organs Act

Last Updated: Thursday, March 17, 2011 - 22:36

New Delhi: In an effort to promote and
streamline the process of organ donation, Government on Thursday
amended the Transplantation of Human Organs Act which will
simplify rules and extend the ambit of donors among family
members to grandparents.

"The rules have been simplified," Union Health
Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters in Delhi.

The changes being brought in include extending the
ambit of donors to grandparents among blood relatives.

Current rules restrict organ transplant to blood
relatives like father, mother, son, daughter, wife, husband,
sister and brother, near and distant relatives and also those
who come forward to donate out of love and affection.

It is this last category that often leads to abuse as
determination of "love and affection towards the patient" can
be subjective.

As a consequence of the changes, such relatives can
donate their organ to a compatible patient and, in turn, get
an organ that is compatible with the patients related to
themselves.

Special provisions will be made to facilitate
transportation of legally removed human organs like heart and
kidney, Azad said.

The minister said that the punishment for illegal
removal of organs has also been made stringent by increasing
the fine and introducing a jail term.

The amendments will legalise swapping of vital organs
between willing but incompatible donors.

Swapping is where relatives are willing to donate but
are medically incompatible for transplant.

Blood relations will also not have to pass through a
screening authority anymore or undergo several tests. Simple
documents like a birth certificate will be enough.

The amendments were cleared at a meeting the Union
Cabinet.

The amendments would help curb the illegal trade in
organs besides streamlining the largely untackled field of
organ donation.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, March 17, 2011 - 22:36

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