Human Organs and Tissues Transplantation Act, 1994

  Sep 29, 2017

Human Organs and Tissues Transplantation Act, 1994

The Act regulates the removal, storage, and transplantation of human organs for therapeutic purposes. It also seeks to prevent commercial dealing of organs. Under the Act, only near relatives can donate their organs (before their death) to the concerned recipients in need of such organs.

The proposed amendment seeks to expand the definition of ‘near relative’.

Under the 1994 Act, ‘near relative’ was defined as ‘spouse, son, daughter, father, mother, brother or sister’. This definition was expanded in 2011 to include ‘grandfather, grandmother, grandson, and granddaughter’.

The expanding of the definition has not led to an increase in the availability of living donors. This is because:
  1. grandparents are not able to donate due to age or some adverse medical condition, and
  2. grand children are too young to donate organs.
Therefore the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has sought to include the following in the definition of ‘near relative’:
  1. step father, step mother,
  2. step brother, step sister, step son, step daughter and their spouses,
  3. spouses of sons and daughters of recipient,
  4. brothers and sisters of recipient's spouse and their spouses,
  5. brothers and sisters of recipient's parents and their spouses, and
  6. first cousins (having common grandparents) of the recipient and their spouses.