Swapping of vital organs made legal in India

Swapping of vital organs made legal in India

"The rules have been simplified," Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters here.The changes being brought in include extending the ambit of donors to grandparents among blood relatives.

Current rules restrict organ transplant to blood relatives like father, mother, son, daughter, wife, husband, sister and brother, near and distant relatives and also those who come forward to donate out of love and affection.

It is this last category that often leads to abuse as determination of "love and affection towards the patient" can be subjective.

As a consequence of the changes, such relatives can donate their organ to a compatible patient and, in turn, get an organ that is compatible with the patients related to themselves.

Special provisions will be made to facilitate transportation of legally removed human organs like heart and kidney, Azad said.

The minister said that the punishment for illegal removal of organs has also been made stringent by increasing the fine and introducing a jail term.

The amendments will legalise swapping of vital organs between willing but incompatible donors.

Swapping is where relatives are willing to donate but are medically incompatible for transplant.

Blood relations will also not have to pass through a screening authority anymore or undergo several tests. Simple documents like a birth certificate will be enough.The amendments were cleared at a meeting the Union Cabinet here today.

The amendments would help curb the illegal trade in organs besides streamlining the largely untackled field of organ donation.

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