Irregularities in Organ Transplantation

June 13, 2018
1 year

Why in news?

Some irregularities in connection with organ transplantations have been found in the state of Tamil Nadu.

How has TN been in organ transplantation?

  • Tamil Nadu is a pioneer in orderly and transparent allocation of deceased-donor organs.
  • It has worked consistently to eliminate commerce in kidneys procured from poor living donors.
  • The Transplant Authority of Tamil Nadu has served as a model for other States.
  • The state also offers a subsidy for poor patients for a liver transplant.
  • Every effort must be made to ensure that it retains this high reputation.

What is the recent finding?

  • The Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has found some irregularities in organ transplantation in TN.
  • Preferential allotment of hearts and lungs has been made to foreign patients.
  • Hearts harvested from brain-dead patients were given to foreign nationals admitted to corporate hospitals.
  • International patients get priority in cadaver transplants, bypassing long list of Indians.
  • The Directorate General of Health Services convened a meeting and framed strict guidelines for allocation of organs to foreigners.

What is the procedure?

  • The provisions are laid out in the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Rules.
  • State governments are expected to ensure that transplantations are done legally and ethically.
  • Citizens enrolled in the State and national waiting lists are prioritised over foreign nationals.
  • Organs go to the most suitable recipients on the rule-based parameters.
  • It is offered to domicile, citizenship, Indian origin and foreign nationality, in that order.

What lies ahead?

  • There must be an inquiry into how allocations for organ transplants are made in Tamil Nadu.
  • Any inquiry should shed light on the factors that led to the decisions.
  • It should importantly include whether registered citizens were overlooked.
  • Hospitals and professionals engaging in commerce or unethical behaviour should be addressed.
  • It has to cover such issues as the capacity of district-level hospitals to perform transplants.
  • Arrangements to air-lift organs should also be addressed, since domestic patients are unable to afford flight facilities.
  • Enrolling all domestic patients through State registries should be the priority for the NOTTO.


Source: The Hindu


Quick Fact


  • The National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO) functions under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
  • It is an all-India apex body for coordination and networking for procurement and distribution of organs/tissues and transplantation.
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