Organ donation in India
Polity & Governance
24th Feb, 2023
The Union Health Ministry has done away with the age cap of 65 years for receiving an organ from a dead donor, and guidelines are being revised to allow the elderly to register on waiting lists.
The numbers (Government data):
- Organs from deceased donors accounted for nearly 8% of all transplants in 2022 in the country.
- The number of transplants has increased over the years.
- The total number of deceased organ transplants climbed from 837 in 2013 to 2,765 in 2022.
- The total number of organ transplants – with organs from both deceased and living donors – increased from 4,990 in 2013 to 15,561 in 2022.
- India conducts the third highest number of transplants in the world.
- Every year, an estimated 1.5-2 lakh people need a kidney transplant. Only around 10,000 got one in 2022. Of the 80,000 people who required a liver transplant, less than 3,000 got one in 2022. And, of the 10,000 who needed a heart transplant.
Regulations pertaining to Organ donation:
- Organ donation in India is regulated by the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act (THOTA), 1994, which was amended in 2011.
- The Act made commercialisation of organs a punishable offence and also brought in the concept of brain death in India.
- The latter paved the way for deceased organ donation (retrieving organs from brain stem dead persons).
- Under the Act, the government has set up the National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO) as an apex centre for procurement and distribution of organs.
- In addition, there are regional (ROTTO) and state transplant organisations (SOTTO).
- The latter lists recipients and allocates organs in each state using an organ-sharing network.