New Timelines Prescribed For Transplantation Authorisation Committees

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) has prescribed timelines for functioning of the authorization committees for transplantation of human organs and tissues. This was in response to the landmark judgment of the Delhi High Court aimed at streamlining the organ donation process in India. These new timelines were issued on May 3, 2024.

The Delhi High Court, in the matter of Amar Singh Bhatia & Anr. versus Sir Ganga Ram Hospital & Others, had directed the MOHFW to prescribe timelines for all the steps in the process of consideration of applications for organ donation.

Hence, MOHFW has outlined these timelines for state governments and authorization committees.

Benefits of Timelines

  • This initiative is expected to significantly reduce wait times for organ transplant surgeries.
  • Faster decision-making will improve the success rate of organ transplants by ensuring timely procedures.

Breakdown of Timelines:

  1. Processing of application (Maximum 7 days): This includes communication of deficiencies to the donor or / and recipient in respect of documents.
  2. Documentation Completion (Maximum 7 days): This refers to the timeline for recipients or / and donors to respond to the deficiencies in respect of required documents.
  3. Authorisation Committee to decide on Interview (Within 3 days): The decision of Authorisation Committee regarding scheduling of interview will be communicated to the donor and recipient within 3 days
  4. Interview Scheduling (Within 7 days): Once documents are complete, the committee will schedule interviews with donors and recipients.
    • Communication of deficiencies: within 24 hours of conduct of interview
    • Rectify deficiencies: maximum 7 days shall be given to the donor/recipient to rectify deficiencies.
    • Documents to be provided to members the of Authorization committee: atleast 3 days before the scheduled interview
  5. Interview Decision & Communication (Within 24 hours): The decision of Authorization Committee should be displayed on the website of the hospital within 24 hours of holding its final meeting for the case.
  6. Verification Documents (Within 14 & 7 days): Tehsildar verification forms (Form 20) will be issued within 14 days, while embassy approvals for foreign donors/recipients (Form 21) will be completed within 7 days from the date on which the application has been made.

The entire process, from application submission to the final decision, should ideally be completed within 6 to 8 weeks.

Additional Notes:

  • Mandatory e-Aadhaar verification for both donor and recipient identity has been emphasized.
  • Organ donation from minor living donors requires separate approval processes.
  • Swap transplants between foreign and Indian donor-recipient pairs are not permitted.

Appeal Process:

Appeals against the authorization committee’s decisions must be addressed within 30 days, ideally within 7 days of receiving the appeal documents.