Journal of Nephrology and Renal Transplantation, Vol 2, No 1 (2009)

Organ Donation and Transplantation in India – Legal Aspects & Solutions to Help With Shortage of Organs

Sunil Shroff


In Asia, India started its Kidney transplant programme in 1970’s and once the legislation called Transplantation of Human Organ Act (THO) was passed that accepted brain death and made commerce in organs a punishable offence, it started doing other transplants like liver, heart and pancreas Despite a long track record, the programme has been marred by scandals and arrests of middle men and sometimes even doctors. The law has failed to curb the organ trade and its implementation has been flawed and often its provisions have been abused. Despite the problems some NGO’s and hospitals have tried to promote the deceased donation programme and have experienced success. Unlike countries like Japan that have been struggling with the society to get conversion of brain death patients, in India since the legislation was passed in 1994 the country has been able to do about 1300 deceased donor transplants. The scope of deceased donation programme in India and its capability of taking care of shortage of organs has been well exemplified by Non-Government Organizations like MOHAN that has facilitated over 400 such donations. Using their experience and accepting some of their suggestions may help the programme get momentum and take care of the shortage of organs.

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