Highlights of the Bill

  • The Bill amends the Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994, which regulates removal, storage and transplantation of human organs. 
  • In addition to human organs, the Bill seeks to regulate transplantation of tissues of the human body. 
  • The Act permits donations from living persons who are near relatives. The Bill expands the definition of “near relative” to include grandparents and grandchildren in addition to parents, children, brother, sister and spouse. 
  • The doctor in an Intensive Care Unit has to inform the patient or relatives of patient about the option of organ donation and ascertain whether they would consent to the donation.
  • A pair of donor and recipient who are near relatives but whose organs do not medically match for transplantation are permitted by the Bill to swap organs with another pair of such persons.
  • The Bill enhances the penalty for unauthorised removal of human organs and for receiving or making payment for human organs.

Key Issues and Analysis

  • The Bill seeks to strengthen provisions to curb commercial trade in human organs while facilitating organ transplantation for needy patients.  It is not clear how effective the above measures would be in curbing such commercial trade.
  • Both the donor and recipient shall be penalised if convicted of commercial trade in human organs.  Penalising donors who may be forced to sell organs due to financial need may deter them from complaining against commercial trade.
  • Organ donation from a person who is not a “near relative” requires permission of the State Authorisation Committee.  It is not clear which State Authorisation Committee shall have jurisdiction if the donor and recipient belong to different states.
  • The Bill provides for establishment of Advisory Committees but does not list its functions.

Read the complete analysis here