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Bill to amend Transplantation of Human Organs Act tabled

The government Friday introduced a bill in the Rajya Sabha to amend the Transplantation of Human Organs Act to expand the definition of ‘near relatives’ to include grandparents and grandchildren and provide other measures to prevent commercial dealings in human organs.

 Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said the act came into force in February 1995 in Goa, Himachal Pradesh and Maharashtra and union territories of the country and was later adopted by most other states.

He said there had been a spate of reports about thriving human organ trade in India and consequent exploitation of economically weaker sections.

The Transplantation of Human Organs (Amendment) Bill, 2011, seeks to expand the definition of near relative to include grandfather, grandmother, grandson and granddaughter. The bill has been passed by the Lok Sabha.

Another amendment, Azad said, seeks to make it mandatory for the treating medical staff to request relatives of brain dead patients for organ donation and to provide for enucleating of corneas by a trained technician.

Amendments also propose to provide for development and maintenance of a national registry of recipients of human organ transplants.

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