Supreme Court Case Prompts Inquiry on Organ Transplant Advisory Committees

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has reached out to all state governments in India regarding the constitution of Advisory Committees under the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act (THOTA) 1994. This letter was dated April 14, 2024.

This action follows a Writ Petition (Civil) no. 57 of 2024 filed in the Supreme Court by Gaveshna Maanvotthan Paryavaran Evam Swasthya Jaagrookata Samiti. The petition challenges the non-compliance of some states with the Act’s mandate.

Section 13A of Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act (THOTA) 1994 requires both the central and state governments to establish Advisory Committees for a two-year term. These committees advise the appropriate authority on matters related to organ donation and transplantation.

The MoHFW is seeking confirmation from each state government on whether they have constituted such a committee as per the Act and its associated rules (Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Rules, 2014).

If a committee exists, the state is requested to share a copy of the notification establishing it.

The THOT Act emphasizes transparency and ethical practices in organ transplantation. Advisory committees play a crucial role in achieving these objectives by providing expert advice and ensuring proper oversight.

The MoHFW’s inquiry highlights the potential lack of adherence to THOTA in some states. The Supreme Court case further highlights the importance of enforcing these regulations for a more robust organ transplant system in India.

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