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Amended Rules of Transplantation of Human Organs Act Notified
Apr 23, 2014

The Union Government has amended the rules under the Transplantation of Human Organs Act and notified the same with a view to widen the donor pool by including grandparents and grandchildren in the list, while making stringent provisions against commercial dealings in the sector.

Following the notification of the Transplantation of Human Organs (Amendment) Act, 2011 on 17 January 2014, the Union Health Ministry has recently issued the notification by framing the rules that would put the Act into force. According to the notification, “In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 24 of the Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994 and in supersession of the Transplantation of Human Organs Rules, 1995, except as respects things done or omitted to be done before such supersession, the Central Government hereby makes the rules.”

The Rules, among other things, provides for the establishment of a National Human Organs and Tissues Removal and Storage Network, and development and maintenance of a National Registry of recipients of organ transplants. It also lays down stringent punishments for commercial dealing in human organs and contravention of any provisions of the law.

The Act regulates the removal, storage and transplantation of human organs for therapeutic purposes, and prevents commercial dealing in human organs. It enables a surgeon or a physician and an anaesthetist to be included on the medical board in the event of non-availability of a neuro-surgeon or a neurologist to certify brain death; makes it mandatory for the ICU/Treating Medical Staff to request relatives of a brain-dead patient for organ donation; and empowers the Union Government to prescribe the composition of authorisation committees that grants approvals for donating organs.

According to the amended rules, “There shall be an apex national networking organisation at the centre, as the Central Government may by notification specify. There shall also be regional and State level networking organisations where large number of transplantation of organ(s) or tissue(s) are performed as the Central Government may by notification specify. The State units would be linked to hospitals, organ or tissue matching laboratories and tissue banks within their area and also to regional and national networking organisations.” 

“The Central Government and the State Government, as the case may be, shall constitute by notification an Advisory Committee under Chairpersonship of administrative expert not below the rank of Secretary to the State Government for a period of two years to aid and advise the Appropriate Authority and the two medical experts referred to in clause(b) of sub-section(2) of section 13A of the Act shall possess a postgraduate medical degree and at least five years’ experience in the field of organ or tissue transplantation.”

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