Organ Transplantation Guidelines Providing Compensation To Altruistic Donors Upheld By Kerala HC [Read Judgment]
The High Court of Kerala has upheld the guidelines framed by the Kerala Government under the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act 1994, providing for compensation to altruistic organ donors. The guidelines were challenged on the ground that they promote commercial harvesting of human organs, which is prohibited as per Section 19 of the Act.
The guidelines compensate altruistic donors in the following manner:-
- All medical expenses incurred for donor evaluation and donor surgery must be borne by the recipients. The donor also should be compensated for loss of income which will be limited to Rs.50,000/- (Rupees Fifty thousand only) per month for three months. The donor will be provided with free health insurance during his/her entire lifetime under any of the Health Insurance Scheme of Government.
- The recipient who receives an organ from an altruistic donor or a swap donor must pay organ utilization fee to KNOS @ Rs.2,00,000/- (Rupees Two lakh only) for covering health expenses of the altruistic donor.
The Division Bench of Chief Justice Antony Dominic and Justice Dama Seshadri Naidu held that these provisions are intended to take care of the future welfare of the donor and these provisions cannot be construed as one helping commercial dealings in human organs.
It may be noted that the guidelines are framed as per the directions issued by the High Court in judgment dated 24.11.2017. There, a single bench of Kerala High Court speaking through Justice K. Vinod Chandran held that media publications soliciting organ donors were illegal; at the same time, the judgment also directed the State Government to frame fresh guidelines to ease the difficulties faced by ailing persons to identify altruistic organ donors. Accordingly, these guidelines were issued on 15.02.2018.Read the Judgment Here