Government makes changes to organ transplant rules, scrap age bar, domicile certificate requirement

According to health ministry sources, three significant changes have been introduced under the organ donation rules.

Published: 17th February 2023 10:13 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th February 2023 10:13 AM   |  A+A-

Organ transplant

Image used for representational purpose ony.

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The centre has made major changes in the organ transplant regulations in the country under its ‘one nation, one policy’ rule by removing the 65-year age cap for recipients and allowing them to register in any state and not just their state.

Besides bringing major changes in the rules, the union health ministry also plans to create massive awareness, especially among school children. Officials have suggested introducing a chapter on organ donation in the school curriculum and medical education.

According to health ministry sources, three significant changes have been introduced under the organ donation rules. The changes were made to provide better access to organs and also promote cadaver donations in the country, which is significantly less in number at the moment.

One of the provisions that have been changed is that now any recipient can register in any state of their choice for an organ transplant. Now, the registry will be pan-India and not state-specific. Officials said one of the requirements for organ transplant was a ‘domicile certificate,’ which is being followed by some states. 

The officials said this is against the provisions of the Transplantation of Human Organs Act-1994.

“This clause was creating difficulties in registration of the potential recipients,” the official said, adding that in line with the “one nation, one policy”, this clause prescribed in the allocation guidelines of some states has now been removed.

The official said now the patient requiring a Deceased Donor Organ Transplant (DDOT) could seek treatment from any registered transplant hospital in the country, and the transplant hospital will write their request with the National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO) registry for inclusion in the waiting list.

NOTTO will provide a unique ID to each of these patients.

The patient has the option to change the transplant hospital within or outside the state after initial registration; however, the unique ID and priority in the waiting list will remain the same, the official told this paper.

The second major change will be scrapping the age bar. Earlier, people above 65 years couldn’t register for organs from cadavers. Now, they can.

“Patients requiring Deceased Donor Organ Transplant (DDOT) of any age without any upper limit will be permitted to register all over the country in the waiting list registry. This will increase the life expectancy of the recipient and will promote a higher number of organ donations,” the official added.

The third change in the rule is that now there will be no registration charge to register as an organ recipient. In a meeting with states, the health ministry asked states to make these changes.


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