MPAs pass bill to regulate organ transplantation

An evaluation committee and a monitoring committee will be formed to overlook the practice.

Hafeez Tunio February 27, 2013
File photo of the Sindh Assembly. PHOTO: ONLINE/FILE

KARACHI: In view of the 18th Amendment, the matter relating to transplantation of human organs and tissues has been devolved to the provinces and following up on that, the Sindh Assembly passed a bill on Wednesday for regulation, removal, storage and transplantation of human organs and tissues for medical purpose.

The bill “Sindh Transplantation of Human and Tissues” was moved by Law Minister Ayaz Soomro.

After the commencement of the act, the provincial government will appoint an evaluation committee, comprising surgical specialists, medical specialists, a transplantation specialist, nephrologists and neuro-physician and two local notables with a good record of social service. The committee will be established for every recognised medical institution and hospital where at least twenty-five transplants are being carried out annually. It will ensure that no organ or tissue is retrieved from non-related living donors without prior approval of the committee.

The transplantation of human organs or tissues, or removal of any part of the human organs will only be carried out by the recognised professionals once a written certificate has been obtained from the committee. The law stated that no human organ or tissue will be removed from the body of a living person except for voluntary donation. “A living donor, aged 18 years or above, may voluntarily donate any organ or tissue of his body to another living person who is genetically or legally related”, stated the law.

The evaluation committee, however, may also allow donation by a person who is not a close relative after deciding if the donation is voluntary.

“Anyone found involved in removal of any human organ without the permission of the authority will be punished for a term of ten years with a fine which can be extended to Rs1 million.”

Monitoring committee

The government will also constitute a monitoring authority. The health minister will be the chairperson of the committee and members will include secretary health, police surgeon and nominees from the Pakistan Medical Association for Sindh, Ophthalmological Society of Sindh, Transplantation Society of Sindh, a surgical transplant specialist and others.

The monitoring committee can hold an inquiry into the allegation of a breach of provision of the act at any time.

Speaking on the occasion, the law makers appreciated the legislation and lauded the efforts by Dr Abeeb Rizvi of the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT).

Sindh Law Minister Ayaz Soomro said that the legislation aims to regulate the process in order to stop the irregular practice of selling and purchasing kidneys and other human organs which is on the rise.

Sindh Education Minister Pir Mazharul Haq said that the Sindh government has increased the SIUT annual grant from Rs1 billion to Rs2 billion. “Apart from the people of Sindh, patients from over all Pakistan are benefiting from the institute,” he added.

Later, all MPAs belonging to different political parties passed the “Sindh Transplantation of Human and Tissues Bill 2013 unanimously.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 28th, 2013.


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