Organ Transplantation

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January 18, 2024

Why in news?

Delhi High Court has prescribed an ideal timeline of 6-8 weeks to complete the process of transplanting organs from living donors.

What is the issue?

  • A retired IAF officer needed a kidney transplant due to kidney failure and hypertension, his application was denied in 2 hospitals.
  • Delhi High Court intervened and ordered to expedite the process, but the petitioner died before getting a transplant.
  • The Centre claimed that the committee followed the 2014 rules and decided within a week of receiving the documents.
  • The Court prescribed a timeline of 6-8 weeks for the entire process, from submission to decision, to avoid further suffering and loss of lives.

What are the provisions described under Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act, 1994?

The Act serves as the primary legislation governing the processes of organ donation and organ transplantation in India.




Regulation of storage, removal, and transplantation of different types of human organs that can be used for therapeutic purposes. 

Brain death

  • The Act defines brain death as an accepted form of death.
  • The Act also defines the process and the criteria meant to be used for the purpose of brain death certification.

Donors for organ transplantation

 It can be either from a pool of organs of deceased persons donated by their relatives or from a living person who is known to the recipient

Living donations

It is from close relatives such as parents, siblings, children, spouses, grandparents, and grandchildren. 

Altruistic donations

It is from distant relatives, in-laws, or long-time friends are allowed after additional scrutiny to ensure there is no financial exchange. 

Authorization committee

2014 rules established the committee which oversees and approves organ transplant procedures involving donors and recipients who are not near relatives.

Institutional support

  • National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization,
  • Regional Organ and  Tissue Transplant Organization,
  • State Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization.


Illegal activities will attract jail term up to 10 years and fine up to 10 crores.

What is the role of Authorization committee?

  • The approval is crucial, especially in cases where organs are donated for reasons of affection, attachment or other special circumstances, to ensure ethical compliance and prevent illegal practices.
  • Composition- It shall be prescribed by the Central Government from time to time and that state government and Union Territories.
  • Inquiry- The committee is expected to conduct a thorough inquiry while reviewing applications for transplant approval.
  • Verification- The crucial aspect of the inquiry is to verify the authenticity of the donor and recipient and ensure that the donation is not driven by commercial motives.
  • Data collection- The committee is responsible for maintaining data on available organs and granting permissions for organ transplants.
  • Expedite evaluation- If a recipient is in a critical condition and needs transplantation within a week, the hospital can be approached for evaluation.



Indian Express- Complete organ transplant process

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