Despite various initiatives to make tissue and organ donations transparent, there are various instances of corruption and violation of rules in organ transplantation. What are the issues with existing legal mechanisms? Also, what are the reasons behind the shortage of organs for transplantation? Examine.

World is witnessing the rise of chronic and non-communicable diseases with high morbidity and mortality. Organ replacement is one of the treatments for diseases like chronic kidney illness etc.
Organs and tissue transplants are governed by the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act, 2011 in India. Organs can either be retrieved from cadavers or from brain dead patients with family consent, or may be donated by living donors. Three types of living donors: near relatives like parents; others who can donate for “affection and attachment” or for a special reason but not for financial considerations; and swap donors where near relative donors are swapped between patients whose own family members are incompatible.
 Kidney racketeers have exploited the provision that allows an unrelated person to donate out of love and affection. Mismatch between supply and demand of organs has led to growth of black market in organs.
According to figures available with the Ministry of Health, the annual requirement of kidneys could be in the range of 1-2 lakh, while the number of transplants that happen every year is just about 5,000.Shortage of donors for transplantation exists because:

  • The cadaver donation programme has been a virtual non-starter
  • The large numbers of road accident victims can, for example, provide a steady supply of organs — but that does not happen because of the lack of a consolidated programme and lack of awareness.
  • The problem with the deceased organ donation programme includes lack of government funding, hospitals not identifying and maintaining brain dead donors and the community being unaware of the concept of brain death.
  • Families of brain dead are reluctant to donate organs.

It is necessary to create awareness regarding organ donation in the society. Better management of Chronic and non-communicable diseases can prevent the need for large number of organs

Question for UPSC Mains:
Despite various initiatives to make tissue and organ donations transparent, there are various instances of corruption and violation of rules in organ transplantation. What are the issues with existing legal mechanisms? Also, what are the reasons behind the shortage of organs for transplantation? Examine.
The Hindu | NMJI | Indian Express

Published: October 6, 2017 | Modified:June 27, 2019

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