Human Organ Transplantation in India: Issues and Challenges

  • Maitrayi Chawla
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  • Maitrayi Chawla

    Graduated from NALSAR University of Law, India

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The field of human organ transplantation in India has seen significant growth since the 1970s, particularly with the inception of kidney transplants. Despite advancements in transplant techniques improving health outcomes for patients, there remains a stark imbalance between organ demand and supply, largely due to low cadaver donations influenced by social and ethical factors. This scarcity has led to the proliferation of unethical practices such as organ trafficking and commercial transplants, posing serious violations of individuals' rights and international obligations. The primary legislation governing organ donation and transplantation in India, the Transplantation of Human Organs Act of 1994, aims to regulate these procedures and deter commercial dealings in organs. However, despite its existence, challenges persist, including the limited focus on brain death, inconsistent interpretation and implementation of the law, and inadequate increase in deceased donor numbers. This paper seeks to delve into the multifaceted challenges surrounding organ transplantation in India, aiming to propose reforms to address unethical practices and bolster organ supply. Through a comparative analysis with international frameworks, the study aims to identify best practices and recommend changes to align the Indian legal landscape with global standards. The significance of this study lies in its potential to enhance access to life-saving organ transplants for patients in need, given the substantial gap between demand and availability. Moreover, addressing unethical practices not only upholds fundamental rights but also fulfills India's international obligations. Key challenges include the shortage of deceased donors, complex donation procedures, lack of awareness, and inadequate infrastructure for organ management. By critically examining the existing legal framework and drawing from international experiences, this research aims to pave the way for legislative reforms that regulate unethical practices and promote organ donation in India. Ultimately, the study endeavors to contribute to a more ethical and efficient organ transplantation system that aligns with constitutional principles and international norms, thereby improving healthcare outcomes and safeguarding human rights.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 7, Issue 2, Page 260 - 286


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