Transplant of Human Organs Act, 1994
Experts say a loophole in the Act allows rackets like the one on kidney trade unearthed last week to thrive. They have called for stricter laws.
- According to the Act, close relatives of recipient like parents, children, brothers, sisters and spouse can donate the organ without government clearance. But all other relatives who wish to donate the organ need to appear before the authorization committee for clearance and, only after its approval and clearance, can get the organ transplanted. The Authorization Committee set up for the purpose ensures all the documents required under the Act have boon supplied.
- The Act does not allow exchange of money between the donor and the recipient.
- According to the Act, organ sales are banned and, therefore, no foreigner can get a local donor. If it is found money has been exchanged in the process, then both the recipient as well as the donor is considered as prime offenders under the law.
FINES AND PENALTIES
- Any person who renders his services to or at any hospital and who, for purposes of transplantation, conducts, associates with, or helps in any manner in the removal of any human organ without authority, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 5 years and with fine up to Rs 10,000.
- Whoever (a) makes or receives any payment for the supply of or for an offer to supply, any human organ; (b) seeks to find a person willing to supply for payment any human organ: (c) offers to supply any human organ for payment; (d) negotiates any arrangement involving the making of any payment for the supply of any human organ shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term shall not be less than two years but which may extend to 7 years and fine not be less than Rs 10,000 but may extend to Rs 20,000.
The unrelated activity is due to loopholes in the present Act as sub-clause (3), Clause 9, of Chapter II, states: "If any donor authorizes the removal of any of his human organs before his death for transplantation into the body of such recipient, not being a near relative as is specified by the donor,
by reason of affection or attachment towards the recipient or for any other special reasons,
such human organ shall not be removed and transplanted without the prior approval of the Authorization Committee."
It is not necessarily difficult to find an unrelated donor who suddenly develops an "affection or attachment" for the recipient provided he or she is properly rewarded.