New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday sought a reply from the Centre on a petition seeking direction to ensure the government or semi-government medical colleges and district hospitals fulfil all requirements under Sections 14 and 14-A of the Transplantation of Human Organ (Amendment) Act 2011 and be registered with the National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO).
A bench of justices, Surya Kant and KV Viswanathan, issued notice to Centre and others, asking them to file a reply.
The petitioner sought to ensure the government or semi-government medical colleges and District Hospitals fulfil all requirements under Sections 14 and 14-A of the Transplantation of Human Organ (Amendment) Act 2011 and thereafter, government or semi-government medical colleges and District Hospitals must be registered with the National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO).
The petitioner sought to direct the Advisory Committees to advise the appropriate authority as per Section 13A of the Transplantation of Human Organs (Amendment) Act, 2011 and direct the respondents to implement the “Report of the Task Force on Organ Donation and Transplantation given by YK Chawla, Chairman of the Task Force on Organ Donation and Transplantation 2022.
According to the petition, almost 160,000 fatal road traffic accident (RTA) deaths happen in India and almost 60 per cent have associated head injuries.
“Similarly, CVA is another common cause of BSD in India (prevalence rate of CVA ranging from 44.54 to 150 per 100,000 population) and 30-day case fatality rate ranging from 18 per cent to 46.3 per cent and these are also part of the deceased donor pool in our country. A large number of organs from these patients could be harvested for transplantation,” read the petition.
The number of people donating organs after death in India is less than one per million population, which is almost similar to some Asian countries like Japan but far less than most Western countries. In 2020, the United States and Spain had the highest rates of deceased organ donors in select OECD countries, with almost 38 people per million population, the petition pointed out.
“Every act that undermines human dignity amounts to a partial deprivation of the right to life. Such restrictions must align with a reasonable, fair, and just legal procedure that upholds other fundamental rights. To truly live is to live with dignity,” the petition said.