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Indian Express
25 March 2010

As per the Transplantation of Human Organs Act, close relatives can donate organs at the hospital level without approaching the authorisation committee. But they have to refer unrelated donors’ cases to the state.
THE state government recently sent a recommendation to the Centre urging it to allow hospitals to take a decision on swapping of vital organs between unrelated donors and not necessarily to pass such cases to the state authorisation committee for clearance. The union health ministry that is now planning to make swapping of vital organs between willing but incompatible donors legal as amendments to the Transplantation of Human Organs Act 1994.

“As per the Transplantation of Human Organs Act 1994, close relatives — mother, father, brother, sister, spouse, son and daughter— can donate organs at the hospital level without approaching the authorisation committee. But they have to refer unrelated donors’ cases to the state. In order to speed up the process, permission to swap organs should be granted at the hospital level itself,” said Dr Pravin Shinghare, joint director, Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER).

He was speaking on the sidelines of the release of a 23minute film ‘SWAP’ to promote swapping of kidneys.

At present, families have to go through tedious processes to prove the relationship to the hospital, and then to the authorisation committee.

“It took more than two months for us to get permission to go in for kidney swapping. We had to do a lot of paperwork and had to meet a number of DMER officials,” said Aarti Nerurkar, an Ulhasnagar resident, who gave one of her kidneys to her husband in 2008.

However, many experts say that swapping cases should be strictly handled by the state to avoid malpractices like money exchange at the hospital level.

“Swapping should go through the authorisation committee to tackle malpractices,” said Dr Vatsala Trivedi, senior nephrologist.

SWAP, a film based on a real life incident will be presented to the government.

“The movie will be presented before the government and health ministry officials,” said Yashwant Chowghule director, Kshitij Movies International.

The movie is inspired by a real life incident from Pune.

Ramdas Pawar and Sanjay Shinde suffering from renal failure receive kidneys from their wives and were screened in the presence of nephrologists, top government health officials and the Zonal Transplant Co-ordination Committee (ZTCC).

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