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Cadaver organ transplants

GS Paper 2


Syllabus: Government Policies

Source: IE, Th


Context: The Union Health Ministry has done away with the age cap of 65 years for receiving an organ from a dead donor (cadaver).


What do the new guidelines say:

  • The Elderly can now register to receive organs from deceased donors
    • Previously, NOTTO (National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation) guidelines barred them. This violated the Right to Life of elderly
    • Preference will still be given to younger recipients, those above the age of 65 will not be completely barred from the process
  • A patient irrespective of domicile State can register in any other State for a transplant (previously a domicile certificate was necessary)
  • The patient will be allotted a unique ID by NOTTO upon registering. This will help in charting a ‘One Nation One Policy,’ for organ donation and transplantation
  • Health Ministry has intimated states to stop charging registration fees to patients.
  • For awareness generation: The government is introducing a chapter in the school curriculum regarding organ donation awareness for students.


Status of Organ Donation in India:

  • India conducts the third-highest number of transplants in the world. Every year, an estimated 5-2 lakh people need a kidney transplant.
  • Organs from deceased donors accounted for nearly 18% of all transplants in 2022 in the country
  • Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Karnataka account for more than 85% of the total deceased donations.
  • A study shows over 40% of those in need of kidney transplants worldwide are over the age of 65.
  • As per the Health Ministry, the number of organ transplants has increased by over three times from 4,990 in 2013 to 15,561 in 2022.
  • India has an organ donation rate of about 52 per million population. In comparison, the organ donation rate in Spain is 49.6 per million population which is the highest in the world.


The current mechanism of Donating organs: The availability of an organ is reported by the hospital to the state organ and tissue transplant organisation that matches it with recipients locally. If a match isn’t found, it is referred to the regional office and then to NOTTO


 Measures that can be taken:

  • Employ more transplant coordinators (to explain and guide the families through the process of donation)
  • Introduce Opt-out system: In India consent of family members is mandatory. Spain has an opt-out system where a person is presumed to be a donor unless otherwise specified.
  • Generate more awareness about organ transplants so that people register as donors.
  • Have faith that the donated organs are helping others.
  • Use of technologyg. Drones to transport organs between cities and states


About NOTTO:

 National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO) is a national-level organisation set up under the Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.


Insta Links:

National Registry of Voluntary Organ Donors


Mains Links :

Q. There exists a lot of hesitancy among people regarding organ donation. What methods can be used to persuade people to donate organs post-death to save precious lives? (15M)