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Amending Organ Transplant Act raises questions

The Union Ministry of Health had sought suggestions from the public to amend the Transplant of Human Organs and Tissues Act, 1994, and change the definition of ‘near relative’ of a patient.

Published: 09th October 2017 04:51 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th October 2017 07:19 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

BENGALURU: The Union Ministry of Health had sought suggestions from the public to amend the Transplant of Human Organs and Tissues Act, 1994, and change the definition of ‘near relative’ of a patient. The amendment would enable step-parents, step-children, and spouses of sons and daughters of recepients to donate without hassle.

However, experts are divided over implications of such a move.Under the existing system, unrelated donors have to approach the state authorisation committee to donate organs. Once the amendment is brought in, clearance from hospital-based authorisation committee would suffice. The argument provided by the government is that this would increase donor pool as demand for organs is huge but supply is less.  
Karnataka State Authorisation Committee for Transplantation of Human Organs chairman Dr H Ravikumar said, “The authorisation committee cannot review all cases. So, it is a welcome move if hospital-based committees can look into cases.”

Kerala Network for Organ Sharing nodal officer Dr Gracious Noble said, “Under the existing system, unrelated donors can donate after approval from state authorisation committee. So, how will this increase donor pool? The authorisation committee would at least check if the transplant is happening under pressure or if money is being taken for the same.”

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