Organ Transplant Law: Assessing Compatibility with the Right to Health

Developing human rights indicators to evaluate the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act

Summary: This report develops structural, process and outcome indicators to identify changes needed to India’s organ transplant law to make it compatible with the international human right to health.

With instances of commercial dealings in human organs being discovered on a regular basis, it has become clear that there is a need to re-examine the law regulating organ transplants. In this report, we therefore analyse the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act, 1994, and the degree to which it has met its objectives. Using information obtained from different authorities under the Act, we assess its content and functioning against a set of ‘right to health’ indicators.
Based on this, we recommend changes to the law, which include the harmonisation of the definition of ‘brain death’ across different laws and amending the Act to ensure that victims of human trafficking are not treated as offenders.

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