Rules for Kidney Donation in India

  • Aug 30, 2021
  • 9 min to read

With a rise in the number of patients with renal failure, the need for kidney transplants has grown exponentially over the last few decades. Transplants of the liver and kidney are two procedures categorized as living donation, where a healthy patient is involved. Modern technology has become more sophisticated to help patients and donors to complete the process of organ transplant safely.

The end-stage renal disease patients requiring transplantation in India is estimated to be around 1.80,000 each year, out of whom only approximately 6,000 get a transplant. There are rules and regulations that fastidiously serve as a lifeline for the 220,000 people requiring kidney transplantation in India each year.

Today we’re going to take a look at the rules and regulations for kidney donations and transplants in India, along with the legal aspects of organ donation.

Legality and Regulation of Organ Donations in India

The Government of India had passed The Human Organ Transplantation Act, 1994 to regulate the extraction, storage, and transplantation of human organs for therapeutic objectives while preventing commercial trafficking. In 2011, the Act was amended as The Transplantation of Human Organs (Amendment) Act, 2011. Presently, the Indian medical institutions follow the regulations laid down by the Central Government under The Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Rules, 2014”.

Different Kinds of Organ Donation

For those who require one, an organ transplant is a second lease of life. There are two types of organ donations:

  1. Living donation:

    A living person can donate their organ (or part of it) for a transplant. The donor has to be a family member, next of kin, friend, neighbor, colleague, or in-law by relation. The two categories of living donation are:

    • Directed donation:

      The donor names a particular person to be the recipient of their organ, being the most common kind of kidney donation.

    • Non-directed donation:

      The donor in this case does not name a particular recipient and is matched with someone who urgently needs a transplant.

  2. Deceased donation:

    In this case, a recipient has to register at a hospital performing transplants. Once added to the waitlist, organs from a suitable deceased donor (brain death) will be transplanted upon availability.

What are the Rules to Being a Living Kidney Donor?

Vital organs like the kidney, liver, heart, and pancreas can be donated and transplanted, which means that patients don’t have to depend on expensive procedures to extend their life upon organ failure. Here are the rules for kidney donation in India:

  1. To donate your kidney, the candidate needs to be in a healthy physical and mental shape. As a rule of thumb, you are required to be 18 years or older to be eligible.
  2. A candidate also needs to have normal kidney function without any life-threatening diseases.
  3. There are a few medical conditions that can eliminate your candidacy from becoming a living donor. These include diabetes, chronic high blood pressure, cancer, hepatitis, diabetes, or acute infections. Having a critical mental health ailment that needs clinical treatment may also prevent someone from becoming a donor.
  4. Donors are called “Near Related Donors'' or "Other than Near Related Donors”. Grandparents, parents, siblings, the spouse, children, and grandchildren over the age of 18 years are “near related donors”. Anyone other than the near related donor is an “other than near-related donor”.
  5. The recipient and donor are required to furnish documents like their Aadhar card, passport, PAN Card, a family photograph portraying the intended donor and recipient along with other near relatives to establish their identity, residence, and relationship.
  6. Near-related donors need to prove their relationship with the patient with a DNA test.
  7. Other than near related donors need to prove their motive for donation with the necessary documentation.
  8. Foreign nationals being near related or other than near related donors need to seek permission from a Government-appointed Authorization Committee. They are required to appear in front of the Committee to prove their motivation behind the donation, which needs to be solely voluntary or due to love and affection towards the patient. The committee will scrutinize the documents furnished to determine any commercial motives for such donation.
  9. Potential donors are required to get tested ahead of time to determine the most compatible candidate. The transplant takes place at an institution and time most convenient for both the recipient and donor.

Wrapping Up:

Understanding the eligibility, documentation, and regulations for kidney donation is highly crucial for both the parties since a transplant is a long procedure. Being uninformed or lacking the correct documentation can push back the procedure significantly, which is less than ideal in a time-sensitive situation. That being said, it is always better to understand all the implications of a kidney transplant donor-recipient implications in India. We hope our article helped you get a detailed perspective; stay tuned for more posts regarding kidney transplants.