National Symposium on Organ Donation and Transplantation

The National Organ & Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO) hosted a symposium on the theme “Legal and Ethical Aspects of Organ Donation and Transplantation”. The symposium was held at the India Habitat Centre in New Delhi on January 19, 2024. The report on the symposium was published on May 7, 2024.

The symposium aimed to establish uniform legal and ethical guidelines for organ donation and transplantation across India, aligning with the vision of “One Nation, One Policy.”

It witnessed the participation of over 170 participants. These included legal and medical experts, as well as representatives from regional transplant organizations (ROTTOs) and State Organ Transplant Organizations (SOTTOs).

The Director of NOTTO, in his keynote address highlighted the current organ donation and transplantation landscape in India. He also discussed policies like organ transport and the Aadhaar-authenticated digital pledge campaign.

Furthermore, he emphasized the need for:

  • At least one multi-organ transplant center in each state.
  • One organ retrieval center in every medical college.
  • Skill centers for training.
  • A centralized registry and a digitalized allocation system.

The Co-chair of Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group (DICG) also addressed ethical dilemmas and challenges in organ donation and transplantation. He threw light on the importance of:

  • Opposing commercialism, trading, and trafficking (as outlined in the Declaration of Istanbul).
  • Promoting public trust in the donation process.
  • Addressing cost-related challenges.
  • Considering brain stem death beyond organ donation.

The symposium underlined the pressing need for a national policy while acknowledging the importance of local considerations and addressing issues like privacy and inequity. The emphasis remains on promoting public trust, professional procedures, and policy and procedural uniformity across the country.