ZCCK
spacer
Home  |  Sitemap
spacer
ZCCK
 
ZCCK
 
Download
 
subpage
spacer
spacer
News & Events
 
Changes in organ transplant act aim at putting an
Ms Bhavana, 38, is sick and tired. She undergoes dialysis treatment twice a week to stay alive, and to get some relief from constant fatigue. And every minute, she waits for her doctor to call her with the news that someone, somewhere, is ready to give her a kidney. The wife of a poor driver, Ms Bhavana, has been waiting for a kidney for over two years now, since she was diagnosed with renal failure caused by uncontrolled blood pressure. Yet, she refuses to accept her 16-year-old daughter’s kidney, and her husband, suffering from a liver infection, cannot offer her one of his. “My time is running out, and the money we had raised through charities for a transplant surgery is being spent on dialysis,” she says. “It is quite morbid, but I live with the hope that I will soon get the kidney from a brain dead person.” Every year, over 2 lakh Indians are diagnosed with kidney disease, and for most of them, a transplant is the only hope of survival. “Hardly 3,000 kidney transplants are performed in the country every year, and many thousands die while still on the waiting list,” says Dr S. Saravanan, consultant transplant surgeon who heads the Chennai Transplant Center at the Madras Medical Mission hospital. According to him, the disturbing trend was that younger patients- in the age group of 32 to 42 years- are in need of renal transplants in the diabetes capital of the world, as against patients aged between 60 to 63 years in developed nations. Unlike in the West, where cadaver organ donation meets most of the transplant needs, in India, organs harvested from living ‘donors’ account for over 95 per cent of all transplants- many of them bought and sold like the spare parts of a car. The proposed amendments to the Organ Transplant Act aim to put an end to the thriving illegal organ ‘trade’, assuring stringent action against anyone found guilty of organ racketeering. Legalising ‘organ swapping’ also figures on the to-do list of the government, after the success of the first ‘swap-liver’ transplant surgery performed at a Delhi hospital in August 2009, where a Nigerian infant received a part of a Mumbai businessman’s liver. In return, the infant’s mother donated a part of her liver to his ailing wife Priya, who was also ailing. By extending the list of prospective living ‘related donors’ to include grandparents and grandchildren, in addition to first-degree relations of father, mother, children, siblings and spouse, the government hopes to ensure more transplants. “That won’t make a difference, as the elderly and young children cannot be organ donors,” says Mr K. Raghuram, CEO of the MOHAN (Multi Organ Harvesting Aid Network) foundation. “What we really need is a more intensive effort to encourage cadaver transplants, and to improve facilities to transport and transplant harvested organs,” he adds, lauding the proposal for a national network for organ retrieval, banking and transplantation. In 2004, Mr Raghuram and his wife, Ms Lalitha, became living examples for the cause they worked for, when they donated their 19-year-old son’s organs after he was killed in a car accident. “It is not the educated-literate-elite population, but poor people like the neighborhood chai wala, or the security guard’s family are more likely to give consent for organ donations,” says Ms Lalitha Raghuram. “The rich usually prefer to keep the brain dead person on the ventilator for as long as possible.”
image
A Trust Regained
State Organ transplant committee gets encouraging response
Brain dead child gives life to three
A three-year-old has become the youngest organ donor in the state, saving the lives of two children from Chennai and a 61-year-old from the city. Shreya (name changed), who was declared brain dead after a road accident on January 20, donated her heart to a three-year-old A three-year-old has become the youngest organ donor in the state, saving the lives of two children from Chennai and a 61year-old from the city. Shreya (name changed), who was declared brain dead after a road accident on January 20, donated her heart to a three-year-old admitted at the hospital run by the MK Cherian Heart Foundation and her liver to a two-and-a-half-year-old being treated at the Chettinad Hospital in Chennai. Both her kidneys went to an elderly patient suffering from renal failure in Bengaluru. While the heart was flown on a chartered flight by the MK Cherian Heart Foundation, the liver was taken by road to Chennai on Wednesday. “Usually one kidney each is given to needy recipients, but in this case since the organs of a child were used for transplant in an adult, both the kidneys were given to one person,” explains Ms Jensy Anthony, transplant coordinator of Zonal Coordination Committee for Transplant in Karnataka (ZCCK), the committee which has been overseeing transplants in the state for the last three years. Shreya’s father took the brave decision to donate his daughter’s organs to save other families from suffering the kind of loss he had. The girl was out with her parents in a car in Indiranagar when the vehicle met with an accident. While her mother died on the spot, Shreya was declared brain dead at 8.45 am on Wednesday (Jan. 21) at the Manipal Hospital where she was admitted past midnight on Tuesday. Her father survived, but had to undergo a major surgery. “This has been the first paediatric case of organ donation we have come across in the state . Shreya is the youngest to donate her organs,” says Ms Anthony, pointing out that cases of organ donation from brain dead children are still rare in the country. Shreya was the seventh deceased donor the state has seen in the last three years. It is important for the team of doctors from the donor hospital to alert the ZCCK in time to ensure that needy recipients are identified and transplants are performed. admitted at the hospital run by the MK Cherian Heart Foundation and her liver to a two-and-a-half-year-old being treated at the Chettinad Hospital in Chennai. Both her kidneys went to an elderly patient suffering from renal failure in Bengaluru. While the heart was flown on a chartered flight by the MK Cherian Heart Foundation, the liver was taken by road to Chennai on Wednesday. “Usually one kidney each is given to needy recipients, but in this case since the organs of a child were used for transplant in an adult, both the kidneys were given to one person,” explains Ms Jensy Anthony, transplant coordinator of Zonal Coordination Committee for Transplant in Karnataka (ZCCK), the committee which has been overseeing transplants in the state for the last three years. Shreya’s father took the brave decision to donate his daughter’s organs to save other families from suffering the kind of loss he had. The girl was out with her parents in a car in Indiranagar when the vehicle met with an accident. While her mother died on the spot, Shreya was declared brain dead at 8.45 am on Wednesday (Jan. 21) at the Manipal Hospital where she was admitted past midnight on Tuesday. Her father survived, but had to undergo a major surgery. “This has been the first paediatric case of organ donation we have come across in the state . Shreya is the youngest to donate her organs,” says Ms Anthony, pointing out that cases of organ donation from brain dead children are still rare in the country. Shreya was the seventh deceased donor the state has seen in the last three years. It is important for the team of doctors from the donor hospital to alert the ZCCK in time to ensure that needy recipients are identified and transplants are performed.
Human Harvest - Urgent need to regulate and legiti
The biggest failure of the Indian state is that there is no public health system to speak of. Demand disproportionate to supply has created a fertile ground for the mushrooming of unauthorised hospitals and nursing homes, often run by quacks and crooks, medical mercenaries and illegal organ traders. Consider this: You can run any kind of medical facility or nursing home in the state of Haryana without registration or licence because there is no such provision in the state’s legal framework. Which is probably why the kingpin of the recently unearthed kidney trade racket — with operatives in Delhi, UP, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and catering to both domestic and foreign patients — chose to headquarter his operations in Gurgaon, Haryana. He could carry on the illegal business of exploiting vulnerable organ donors and rich patients without fear of detection. Besides concerns over unauthorised and even unwilling organ harvests from the poor, there are several questions that need answers: How did the clandestine medical set-up dispose of its waste? Did all donors — voluntary or otherwise — get due medical attention and compensation and go home or did some die unknown? Were patients aware of the illegal nature of the services being offered? How widespread is the nexus between the organ traders and the police? Regulation of medical services ought to be made uniform throughout the country. Registration and licensing of centres and staff would facilitate frequent inspection and ensure compliance with law. Patients and donors should be aware of their rights. Investigating agencies need to frequently interact with law enforcers to improve policing. Currently, the law on organ transplantation (Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994) allows exchange only between blood relatives and those professing ‘love and affection’ towards the patient. Though the intention is to prevent commercial trade in human organs, escape clauses only increase risk factors while raising ethical questions. It is preferable that strangers are permitted to either donate their organs or get paid for them as per rules laid down by an enforcing agency of a body like the Medical Council of India. New research and technological advances are finding ways of restoring damaged organs or replacing them with cloned ones. Attempts are being made to minimise the body’s natural tendency to reject any foreign body. If we could somehow overcome what is being called the “yuck” factor and figure out how to make the human body accept pig or other animal organs, for instance, xeno-transplantation or trans-species transplantation could become acceptable. Till then, however, we need regulatory measures to ensure that human organ transplants are kept within the realm of legitimate surgical procedure and do not degenerate into criminal butchery.
Centre to modify law on
NEW DELHI, DHNS: Even as new layers of the Gurgaon kidney racket scam are being unearthed by the police, the Centre said it is modifying the existing law to make transplant procedures “simple and transparent” for patients and increase the punishment for guilty doctors and touts. In addition, the CBI will be asked to probe kidney rackets all over the country. A big kidney racket surfaced in Bangalore in August, 2007.“We will ask the CBI for an extensive investigation as many cities and states are involved in kidney rackets,” Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss said here on Tuesday. Last week, the police uncovered a major kidney racket in the national capital region where doctors and clinics from Gurgaon, Delhi and Noida are suspected to be involved. The racket was functioning for the past nine years carrying out more than 500 transplants.The entire operation was the handiwork of one Dr Amit Kumar who has multiple aliases and is absconding now. The doctor was earlier arrested in Mumbai and released in bail. The Transplantation of Human Organ Act (1994), says a Health Ministry official would be modified to increase the range of imprisonment between two and seven years. Punishment for the first offence will be a minimum of two years of imprisonment. A national programme on popularising cadaver transplant will be rolled out in March. Also the existing Organ Retrieval and Banking Organisation (ORBO) at the AIIMS will connect the four metros and other major cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Guwahati to look for more cadaver donors. ICUs in hospitals would be mandated to inform the ORBO about brain dead patients and the ORBO would have five to 10 beds for brain stem dead patients for organ harvest within a specific time, Dr Ramadoss said, adding more ORBOs would be set up in new locations. To do away with unwanted influence of transplant surgeons, rules are being modified to keep the transplant team out of the statebacked authorisation committee, which has to endorse each transplant case before the operations are carried out. Being a part of authorisation panel it allows the transplant surgeons to push for transplantation. Also once the clinical establishment bill is passed by Parliament, the government will have wherewithal to deal with nursing homes and clinics which are suspected to be involved in kidney rackets, Dr Ramadoss said. Shakeel Ahmed (C), a labourer, rests at a hospital with his parents after one of his kidneys was removed in Gurgaon on Tuesday.
 
left   right
Copyright © 2007 ZCCK  |  Disclaimer