Cabinet approves proposal to amend organ transplantation actSeptember 17th, 2009 - 6:05 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Sep 17 (IANS) The government Thursday approved a health ministry proposal to amend the Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994, to curb illegal organ trade and impose stringent penalties on violators.
“In order to make organ transplantation more transparent and patient friendly, the cabinet has approved the proposals of the ministry of health and family welfare to amend the provisions of the act and to impose stringent penalties on persons/hospitals violating the provisions of the act,” Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni said after a cabinet meeting headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The measure was passed by parliament in 1994 and came into force on Feb 4, 1995 in Goa, Himachal Pradesh and Maharashtra and all the union territories. Thereafter, it was adopted by all states, except Jammu and Kashmir and Andhra Pradesh, which have their own laws to regulate transplantation of human organs.
The main purpose of the act is to regulate the removal, storage and transplantation of human organs for therapeutic purposes and to prevent commercial dealings in human organs, the minister said.
The act contains detailed provisions relating to the authority for removal of human organs, preservation of human organs, regulation of hospitals conducting the removal, storage or transplantation of human organs, functions of appropriate authority, registration of hospitals and punishment/penalties for offences relating to aforesaid matters.
“Despite having put in place a regulatory mechanism for transplantation of human organs, there have been a spate of reports in the print and electronic media about a thriving human organ trade in India and the consequential exploitation of economically weaker sections of the society,” Soni elaborated.
“There has, therefore, been an increasing perception in civil society that while the act has not been effective in curbing commercial transactions in organ transplant, it has thwarted genuine cases due to the complicated and long drawn process involving organ donation,” she added.
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