Strict punishment for illegal organ trade approved

Strict punishment for illegal organ trade approved

The Lok Sabha on Friday approved an amended bill providing stringent punishment of up to 10 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to Rs 1 crore for illegal human organ and tissue transplantation.

The Transplantation of Human Organs (Amendment) Bill, introduced in the Lok Sabha in 2009, was moved  by Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad for consideration and for passing it with some amendments to make the punishment tougher for violators of the Act. Azad said the amended legislation brings in stringent measures to check illegal trade of human organs and stop exploitation of the poor people.

“The Act is to regulate removal, storage and transplantation of human organs and tissues. It will also help those hundreds and thousands of people awaiting transplantation of their organs and provide them a fresh lease of life,” the minister said.

The bill makes it clear that human organs or tissues of mentally challenged, mentally retarded and mentally ill persons shall not be removed before their death. Stringent  measures like jail term of five years which may be extendable to 10 years and fine of Rs 20 lakh extendable to Rs 1 crore for those indulging in illegal human transplantation are included in the bill.

Earlier, during the discussion, MPs pressed for facilities which could quickly undertake autopsy and transplantation from the donor.  They said facilities should be there to take into account road accidents involving people who have committed their organs for others. Some MPs said steps should be taken to  prevent the poor from selling their organs and also sought facilities for easy organ donation.

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