By Linus Garg
First publised on 2023-02-17 06:06:47
In a major and welcome decision, the Centre has announced a slew of changes in the organ and tissue donation policy to make it simpler and easier for people to receive organ transplants. Organ retrieval, storage and transplantation is governed in India under the Transplantation of Human Organs Act (THOA), 1994. But many states have their own variations and hence the Centre is now working on 'one nation, one policy'.
The major change announced is that from now onwards, the domicile requirement will not apply. Hence, the organ recipient can be a resident of any state and register anywhere in India for receiving and organ or tissue. Then, the age limit of being under 65 years to be eligible for receiving an organ has also been done away with. Further, many states now charge anywhere between Rs 5000 and Rs 10000 to register a recipient. This registration fee will no longer be required to be paid. Also, anyone, regardless of age or gender, can become an organ or tissue donor with persons below 18 needing parental consent.
These are welcome changes. Just because a person is not a resident of a particular state should not deprive them from receiving an organ. Also, the age limit of 65 was against the right to life as persons above 65 (who are more likely to suffer from organ failure) were not eligible earlier. The decision to do away with the registration fee is also welcome as it was an additional burden on the patients.
More than 2 lakh people need organ transplants every year in India but less than 10% get it. The total organ transplants in 2022 only 15561. It is expected that these changes will make the process easier and now more lives will be saved through timely transplants cutting through unnecessary red tape. The government must now start a campaign to encourage people to donate their organs to save lives.