⦁ In a major tweak to the organ donation policy, the Union Health Ministry on Tuesday said the clause that people aged beyond 65 could not receive cadaver organ transplants had been removed.
⦁ “The government has decided to do away with the ceiling. Now, people beyond 65 in need of an organ donation will also be eligible to get one,” an official source in the Health Ministry said.
⦁ The government has decided to do away with the clause in the National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO) guidelines as it violates the right to life, the source added. “Now an individual of any age can register for organ transplant.”
⦁ Also, earlier, an organ recipient could register for a prospective transplant only in the domicile State.
⦁ The States such as Gujarat had made it mandatory for registered patients to furnish a domicile certificate to be eligible for a transplant. Last November, the Gujarat High Court quashed the discriminatory policy of the State government.
⦁ “In line with the judgment, the Indian government has decided to do away with the domicile policy and all States have been intimated about this decision.
⦁ A patient irrespective of domicile State can register in any other State for a transplant. The patient will be allotted a unique ID by NOTTO on registering which will get carried forward even if the patient changes multiple hospitals in different States.
No registration fee
⦁ Apart from this, certain States such as Kerala and Maharashtra have been charging fees ranging from ₹5,000 to ₹10,000 for registering organ transplant patients. “The Health Ministry has intimated States to stop charging registration fees from patients,” said the source.
⦁ The Health Ministry is charting a “One Nation, One Policy” for organ donation and transplantation. “We are introducing a chapter in the school curriculum regarding organ donation awareness for students,” the source said.
⦁ According to Health Ministry data, the number of organ transplants has increased by over three times from 4,990 in 2013 to 15,561 in 2022.
SOURCE: THE HINDU, THE ECONOMIC TIMES, PIB