Journal of Renal Nutrition and Metabolism Vol 2 No 3 July-September- 2016


Legal Aspects of Organ Donation 21

Legal Aspects Of Organ Donation And Transplantation In India

Ms Pallavi Kumar1 and Dr. Sumana Navin2

1Executive Director (Delhi-NCR), MOHAN Foundation

2Course Director, MOHAN Foundation, Chennai

Key Words: Organ Donation, Transplantation


After years of exploitative practices in living unrelated transplants the Transplantation of Human Organs Act was passed in India in 1994 to put a stop to commercial dealings in organs. It also accepted the concept of brain-stem death and deceased organ donation and transplantation. Living unrelated donation is still permissible under the Act, but it has to be established that such a donation is altruistic in nature.

This article summarises the points relevant to deceased organ donation in the Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994, Transplantation of Human Organs Rules, 1995 (amended 2008), Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act, 2011 ( Amendment) and the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Rules, 2014.

The Act itself lays down the broad legal framework, while the Rules are about the practical working of the Act (the required 'Forms' and other documents). Since Health is a state subject, each state has to adopt the Act by passing legislation. Government Orders/Resolutions have also been brought out by some state governments for clarity on procedures to be followed.



1995 (amended2008) KEY POINTS

To regulate removal, storage and transplantation of human organs for therapeutic purposes .

Prevent commercial dealings in organs.

Brain-stem death defined - Stage at which all functions of the brain stem have permanently and irreversibly ceased.

Procedure for brain-stem death certification laid out. Consent for deceased organ donation:

-Self when alive, 2 witnesses (Form 5-"Donor card")

-Person in lawful possession of body (Form 6)-

Parents, in case of minors (Form 9)

-Unclaimed bodies,> 48 hours, hospital / prison in-charge

-1 and Guidelines for Apnoea test as Annexure-2.