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Explained | What are the rules and regulations related to organ transplant?

Organ transplant is a medical procedure under which the damaged organs of a patient are replaced with donor organs and the patient's life can be saved. Organ transplant cases are continuously increasing in the country and thousands of patients have availed medical facilities.

Nivedita Dash Edited By: Nivedita Dash @Nivedita0503 New Delhi Updated on: December 06, 2023 15:41 IST
What are the rules and regulations related to organ
Image Source : INDIA TV What are the rules and regulations related to organ transplant?

Organ transplant is a miraculous procedure in the medical field which saves the lives of those whose organs get damaged or stop functioning. In such a situation, the damaged organ is removed from the patient's body and an organ from a donor is implanted in it and the patient's life is saved. Organ transplant cases are continuously increasing in the country. According to reports, the number of organ transplants was 4990 in 2013, which increased to 15,561 in the year 2022.

What can be transplanted?

Transplantation is a type of surgery in which both tissues and organs are transplanted. Organs include heart, lung, heart-lung, kidney, liver, pancreas, intestine, thymus and uterus. Apart from this, some tissues like bones, tendons, cornea, skin, heart valves and nerves are also transplanted.

This organ is transplanted the most

Kidney transplants are done the most worldwide followed by liver and heart transplants as compared to cases related to cornea and musculoskeletal grafts (bone and tendon). 

Who can be an organ donor? 

Organ donors can be living, brain-dead, or induced death. Tissues can be taken from donors who have suffered induced death. Organs have to be removed from the dead body in a timely manner, whereas most tissues, except a few, can be stored for up to 5 years. That means they can be banked. 

What is the age limit?

The Union Health Ministry removed the age limit for organ transplants in February 2023. Under which patients aged 65 years and above can also register for organ transplant. Apart from this, the government had recommended to the states to remove the necessary conditions related to residence certificates, so that needy patients can get themselves registered for transplants in other states also. 

What are the rules related to organ transplants?

The Central Government has established the National Human Organs and Tissues Removal & Storage Network (NOTTO). NOTTO consists of 5 regional networks ROTTO (Regional Organ & Tissue Transplant Organisation) and SOTTO (State Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization) in every region of the country.

Transplant hospitals must join this organisation 

Hospitals in the country involved in any transplantation-related activity have to connect with NOTTO through ROTTO/SOTTO as a part of national networking. Be it related to hospital retrieval or transplant.

What does the law say?

Organ transplant is covered under the Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994, which allows donation by living and deceased brain donors. Donation of human tissue has been included in the Act through amendment in the year 2011 and thus the amended Act is called Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act 2011.

Can people buy and sell organs?

People cannot buy or sell organs. According to the Transplantation of Human Organs Act (THOA), buying or selling an organ in any way is a punishable offence. This is not the case only in India but in any part of the world where sale of any organ is not allowed. The Government of India has started the National Organ and Transplant Program (NOTP) to provide organ transplants to the poor. Under this, patients living below the poverty line are provided financial assistance to meet the cost of transplant and medicines for up to one year. Apart from this, subsidy is given for kidney transplant in all public hospitals as per the policy of the Government of India.

Where can I get more information related to organ transplant?

If you want to get more information related to organ transplant, then you can visit the official website of National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization i.e. NOTTO. NOTTO has been established under the Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. Click here to visit NOTTO's direct website.

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