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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Kidney Transplant

New Delhi, January 25

What is the law on kidney transplants?
The Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994, makes buying and selling of human organs illegal and cash-for-kidney transactions a criminal offence. According to the Act, human organ transplant centres need to be registered and regulated by the government through regular checks. It also recognises the concept of cadaver-based kidney transplants, in which brain-dead persons can also donate an organ.
What’s the violation in Gurgaon case?
The 1994 Act prohibits buying and selling of human organs. Police say donors — all labourers — were paid between Rs 50,000 and Rs 75,000 for surgeries. Each kidney was later sold for Rs 8 lakh to Rs 10 lakh.
If you need a kidney, what are the options?
The Act permits patient in need of kidney transplant to receive the organ only from a near relative, defined as a patient’s spouse, parents, siblings, and children (donors). Section 9(3) of the Act says live donors who are not near relatives but are willing to donate kidneys “by reason of affection or attachment towards the recipient or for any other special reasons” are permitted to do so. Provided, that is, the transplantations have approval of the authorisation committee, established under the Act.
This clause was added in good spirit but is often manipulated,” says Dr Subash Gupta, liver transplant surgeon, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals.
What are the options when there are no live donors?
Cadaver transplant is the only alternative, say doctors. While cadaver transplants are the norm in the West, live donor transplants top the list of organ transplants in India. Dr Harish Johri, transplant surgeon, Ganga Ram Hospital, says: “The Act recognises cadaver transplants but the trend has not picked up in India. Every year, some 1.5 lakh patients require kidney transplants but only 3,500 get it. The rest die. There is no alternative and no one can be allowed to break the law.”
Isn’t there a kidney bank?
No. Unlike eyes, which survive after death, kidneys can’t be stored. It can be kept for only up to 48 hours.
What’s the system in USA?
Most kidney transplants use organs taken from cadavers, but doctors prefer organs from live donors because the success rate is higher. In a live-donor practice, used increasingly in USA over the past few years, a patient who needs a kidney is matched up with a compatible stranger if he can find a friend or relative willing to donate an organ to a stranger too.
Via: www.expressindia.com

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