ACT 1994 OF ORGAN TRANSPLANT (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Health)

News-CRUX-10     11th January 2024        

Context: Delhi High Court has prescribed an ideal timeline of 6-8 weeks to complete the process of transplanting organs from living donors.

What does the 1994 Act say?

  • Source of Transplants: A transplant can originate from a pool of organs donated by deceased persons' relatives or from a living person known to the recipient.
  • Living Donations Under the Act: The Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act, 1994 permits living donations, primarily from close relatives like parents, siblings, children, spouse, grandparents, and grandchildren.
  • Documentation for Living Donations: In cases of living donations from close relatives, whether Indian or foreign, various documents including identity proofs, family tree, pictures, and documents proving the donor-recipient relationship must be submitted.

oAn external committee thoroughly examines such cases to prevent illegal dealings.

  • Penalties: Imprisonment for up to 10 years and fines up to Rs 1 crore.

Authorisation Committee

  • About: The Committee plays a crucial role in overseeing and approving organ transplant procedures involving non-relatives. 

oThis is particularly vital when organs are donated for reasons of affection, attachment, or special circumstances, ensuring ethical compliance and preventing illegal practices.

  • Composition: As per Section 9(4), the Authorisation Committee's composition is subject to Central Government prescription. 
  • Nomination: States and Union Territories are mandated to constitute one or more Authorisation Committees, with members nominated by the respective governments, as outlined in the same section.
  • Inquiry: Section 9(5) mandates the Committee to conduct a comprehensive inquiry when reviewing transplant applications. 
  • Verification: Verification of the authenticity of the donor and recipient is a critical aspect, aiming to ensure that the donation is free from commercial motives.
  • Rule-Making Authority: Section 24 empowers the Central Government to formulate rules, pending parliamentary approval, to fulfill the Act's various purposes.