- A predominant
part of organ donations in India is through live donors who are either
near relatives or unrelated individuals like friends who have an emotional
attachment to the recipient.
- The Transplant
Law has enforced stringent procedures in case of live unrelated donors in
order to curb illegal organ trafficking.
- The government is
considering extending the definition of near relatives to step parents,
cousins, in-laws and their spouses in the near relative category.
- Opinion from
public is on this issue
eighty percent of organ donations that happen in India today are through live
donations and only a mere 20 percent is through cadaver donations. However,
with the size of average family going down, the number of relatives who can
legally donate an organ are limited.
to the health ministry, about 5, 500,000 people die every year in India due to
non-availability of organs for transplantation. In an attempt to reduce the gap
between the demand and supply, the government has proposed the expansion of the
"near relative" category to include extended family members including cousins,
in-laws, step parents and their siblings.
‘Government is considering to expand the “near relative” category in the Indian law for organ donation to include extended family members like step-parents, cousins, aunts, uncles, in-laws and some others.’
is organ donation and who can donate? Organ donation
is the act of giving away one's
organs with informed consent to another person who is in need of the organ. The
act of donation should be altruistic in nature; without expecting anything in
can be donated by the following -
organ donation legal?
- A live related donor (grand-parents,
parents, sibling, children, spouse and grandchildren) can donate kidney or
portion of liver to recipient without seeking permission from the state
- A live unrelated
donor (friends, far relatives) can donate kidney or part of liver to
recipient after seeking permission from the state authorization committee.
- A brain dead donor with
informed consent from family
donation was legalized in India in 1994 with the enactment of the la called
'Transplantation of Human
(THO Act, 1994). It allowed the removal, storage
and transplantation of human organ for therapeutic purposes. It was introduced
to restrain organ trafficking in the country.
amendment took place in the year 2011 and new rules were framed in 2014. The
new amendment extended the relatives who could donate to grand-parents and grandchildren
and imposed tough measures to stop organ commerce including up to Rs.10 million
fine and 10 year imprisonment in case of violation of the law.
Scenario in case of live organ donations:
Today there are two types of live donations that are happening.
One is the live related organ donations
; where "near relatives" of the
recipient can voluntarily donate either one kidney or a portion of their liver.
This requires that the genetic relationship between the donor and the recipient
is proved and involves less paperwork and formalities. The second type is the live
; where individuals who have an emotional attachment
with the recipient are allowed to donate. However, in this case the laws are
more stringent and the motive for donation is thoroughly assessed by the
authorization committee before giving the nod for donation to take place.
new inclusion of grand-parents and grandchildren has
not significantly increased the availability of organs for individuals in need.
This was because in most cases the grandparents were too old to donate and the
grandchildren too young.
The newly proposed expansion:
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has published a
circular which asks for public opinion on expanding the "near relative"
category to other members of the family. Opinions and comments may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
preferably by 25th September, 2017.
near relative category is proposed to include:
- Stepmother and
stepbrother, stepdaughter, stepson and their spouses
- Spouses of sons
and daughters of recipient
- Brothers and
sisters of recipients spouse and their spouses.
- Brothers and
sisters of recipients parents and their spouses
- First cousins of
the recipient and their spouses
government has also asked for any other suggestion to change the law to help
the organ donation program move forward by increasing the donor pool. The
dangers of broadening this category of live donors may mean that the chances of
organ commerce will increase. Most experts feel that even now this category
that is being considered to be included can approach the authorization
committee rather than be allowed to donate without any checks. Rather than
implementing such changes the government needs to help improve the cadaver
donation from brain death individuals and make all this possible in government
hospitals. Currently 90% of all organ transplants happen in private hospitals
whereas 90% of all cadaver donors languish in government hospitals where no one
counsels their family for organ donation. If better systems are put in pace
more donations can happen and this would mean more organs for the needy.
- Expansion of definition of 'near relatives' under Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act 1994 and their amendment thereof - (http://mohfw.nic.in/eventsandannouncements/expansion-definition-near-relatives-under-transplantation-human-organs-and)