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Donation and Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues

Organ transplantation:

Organ transplantation is the life-saving therapy for end-stage organ failure. The most commonly transplanted organs are the kidney, liver, heart, lungs, pancreas and intestines.

Transplantation is the act of surgical removal of an organ from one person and placing it into another person. Transplantation is needed when the recipient's organ has failed or has been damaged due to illness or injury.

Organ donation:

Organ donation means giving part of body (organ) to a person with end stage organ disease who needs a transplant.

An organ is a part of the body that performs a specific function: like heart, lungs, kidney, liver etc. The organs that can be donated for transplantation include kidney, liver, heart, lungs, and small bowel and tissues such as corneas, heart valves, skin and bone.

Tissue means a group of cells performing a particular function in the human body such as bone, skin, cornea of the eye, heart valve, blood vessels, nerves and tendon etc.

Types of organ donation

There are two types of organ donation:

i) Living Donor Organ Donation: A person during his life can donate one kidney (the other kidney is capable of maintaining the body functions adequately for the donor), a portion of pancreas (half of the pancreas is adequate for sustaining pancreatic functions) and a part of the liver (the segments of liver will regenerate after a period of time in both recipient and donor).

Living Donor is any person not less than 18 years of age, who voluntarily authorizes the removal of any of his organ and/or tissue, during his or her lifetime, as per prevalent medical practices for therapeutic purposes.

Types of living organ donation

  • Living Near Related Donors: Only immediate blood relations are accepted usually as donors viz., parents, siblings, children, grandparents and grandchildren (THOA Rules 2014). Spouse is also accepted as a living donor in the category of near relative and is permitted to be a donor.
  • Living Non- near relative Donors: are other than near relative of recipient or patient. They can donate only for the reason of affection and attachment towards the recipient or for any other special reason
  • SWAP Donors: In those cases, where the living near-relative donor is incompatible with the recipient, provision for swapping of donors between two such pairs exists, when donor of first pair matches with the second recipient and donor of second pair matches with the first recipient This is permissible only for near relatives as donors

ii) Deceased Donor Organ Donation: A person can donate multiple organ and tissues after (brain-stem/cardiac) death. His/her organ continues to live in another person’s body.

Deceased Donor is anyone, regardless of age, race or gender can become an organ and tissue donor after his or her Death (Brainstem/Cardiac). Consent of near relative or a person in lawful possession of the dead body is required. If the deceased donor is under the age of 18 years, then the consent required from one of the parent or any near relative authorized by the parents is essential. Medical suitability for donation is determined at the time of death.

National Organ transplant programme:

Directorate General of Health Services, Government of India is implementing National Organ Transplant Programme for carrying out the activities as per amendment Act, training of manpower and promotion organ donation from deceased persons

Objectives of National Organ Transplant Programme:

  • To organize a system of organ and Tissue procurement & distribution for transplantation.
  • To promote deceased organ and Tissue donation.
  • To train required manpower.
  • To protect vulnerable poor from organ trafficking.
  • To monitor organ and tissue transplant services and bring about policy and programme corrections/ changes whenever needed.

To Know more about National Organ transplant programme- Click here

National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO):

National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO) is a National level organization set up under Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. National Network division of NOTTO functions as apex centre for coordinating all activities and networking for procurement and distribution of organs and tissues and maintaining registry of organs and tissues donation and transplantation in the country.

Know detailed information of NOTTO at https://www.notto.gov.in/

Legal frame work in India:

In India Transplantation of Human Organs Act was passed in 1994. It provides a system to regulate removal, storage and transplantation of human organs for therapeutic purposes and for prevention of commercial dealings in human organs. Consequently, this act was amended in 2011. In pursuance to the amendment Act 2011, Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Rules 2014 have been notified in March 2014.

Transplant commercialism

Some people, in dire financial distress, may be willing to sell one of their kidneys. The buying and selling of kidneys is called “transplant commercialism”, and it is illegal in almost all countries of the world.

Transplant Tourism

Travel for transplantation when it involves organ trafficking and/or transplant commercialism or if the resources (organs, professionals and transplant centers) devoted to providing transplant to patients from outside a country undermine the country's ability to provide transplant services for its own population.

To know more about Acts and Rules under transplant of human organs Act- Click here

Know FAQs related to organ and tissue donation at - -https://www.notto.gov.in/faqs.htm





PUBLISHED DATE : Aug 01, 2019


CREATED / VALIDATED BY : Dr. Aruna Rastogi

LAST UPDATED BY : Aug 01, 2019

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