State allows grandparents to donate and receive organs

The cabinet made changes in the Centre’s Act and widened the definition of family for the purpose; so far, only parents and their children constituted a family under it

A day after the city witnessed its first successful heart transplant, the state government has amended organ transplant rules that ease the process, and will make registration of donation of certain organs mandatory in the state.

Maharashtra cabinet made changes in the Centre’s Act The Transplantation of Human Organs Act 1994 which was amended in 2011 in this regard on Tuesday and widened the definition of family. Henceforth grandparents maternal and paternal will also be able to receive and donate organs within the family (immediate relatives).

So far, only parents and their children constituted a family under the act.“The amended Act also makes registration of skin, tissue and placenta mandatory for receivers and donors,” said medical education minister Vinod Tawde. He said that to facilitate transplant-related issues, each hospital (facilitation centre) has been asked to appoint a transplant coordinator.

“This coordinator will connect the donors and receivers with zonal transplant coordination committees and register them for the purpose,” said Tawde. In another change, the state has made an effort to check exploitation of mentally challenged persons by the stakeholders.

Parental consent will be mandatory for recovery and transplant of organs of these persons. Violation of this regulation will invite a jail term of 5 years and a penalty of Rs 10,000. A resolution to ratify these changes to the Act will be tabled in the winter session of the state legislature. Till then a government notification will facilitate application of new regulations in the state.

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