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India's Organ Donation & Transplant Rules: What Are the Three Key Changes?

The age limit for organ transplantation has been removed with the government opening the it for people of all ages.

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The Health Ministry has made three big changes to the India's Organ Donation and Transplantation rules.

According to the changes notified on the National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation website:

  • The age limit for organ transplantation has been removed

  • The domicile criteria that states followed for organ transplantation has been removed

  • The registration fee has been eliminated

FIT answers all your FAQs about the newer rules.

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What was the previous age limit for organ transplantation?

Up until last week, people who were 65 or younger could register to receive organs donated by a deceased person. Now, that age limit has been removed with the government opening the registration for people of all ages.

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Why has it been removed now?

A Health Ministry source told CNBC that 65 is "not old enough to bar someone from even considering organ transplantation."

However, younger people who need organ transplantation will still be made the priority since they have “more years of life left and (are) likely to be healthier,” they added.
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What will change with the removal of the domicile criteria?

Previously, certain states allowed people to only register to receive organs from deceased donors if they were “domiciled in the state.”

This also meant that an organ donated in a state, say Uttar Pradesh, was first shared with the hospitals in UP, then in nearby states, and only if no match was found for the organs were they shared nationally. 

However, with the new rules, people will be allowed to register for transplantations anywhere. A Health Ministry official was quoted by CNBC as saying,

“The states want to keep their organs to themselves, but they have been told not to make such distinctions. People in need of transplant can go to any hospital in any state and register to receive an organ from a deceased donor.”
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Will there be no registration fee now?

No, under the 2014 Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Rules, charging a registration fee is not allowed.

States like Telangana, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Kerala, which would charge anywhere between Rs 5,000-10,000 for registering for a transplant, have been asked not to impose any fee from now on.

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How many organ transplantations happen in India each year?

India performs the third-most number of organ transplants globally, with 17 percent of all transplants happening through organs donated by deceased persons.

Here are some statistics to show how India’s organ transplants have increased over the years.

Total Organ Transplants: 211 percent increase in nine years

2013: 4,990 organ transplants

2022: 15,561 organ transplants

Organ Transplants From Living Donors

2013: 3,153 organ transplants

2022: 12,791 organ transplants

Organ Transplants From Deceased Donors

2013: 837 organ transplants

2022: 2,765 organ transplants

Kidney Transplants From Living Donors: 181 percent increase

2013:  3,495 kidney transplants

2022:  9,834 kidney transplants

Kidney Transplant From Deceased Donors: 193 percent increase

2013: 542 kidney transplants

2022: 1,589 kidney transplants

Liver Transplants From Living Donors: 350 percent increase

2013: 658 liver transplants

2022: 2,957 liver transplants

Liver Transplants From Deceased Donors: 217 percent increase

2013: 240 liver transplants

2022: 761 liver transplants

Heart Transplants: 733 percent increase

2013: 30 heart transplants

2022: 250 heart transplants

Lung Transplants: 500 percent increase

2013: 23 lung transplants

2022: 138 lung transplants

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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