Organ Donation

Legal Aspects


The Act applied to the states of Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra and all Union territories, in the first instance. Subsequently, almost all other states adopted the Act by resolution passed in that behalf under clause (1) of article 252 of the Constitution. Andhra Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir though enacted The Andhra Pradesh Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1995 and Jammu and Kashmir Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1997 respectively, based on the Central Act.

  1. 1. Regulates removal, storage and transplantation of human organs

  2. 2. Prohibits removal or transplantation of human organs for any purpose other than therapeutic purposes.

  3. 3.Identifies and defines ‘brain-stem death.’ It further prescribes the procedure and criteria for brain-stem death certification.

  4. 4. Provides the authority for removal of human organs.

    • o In case of deceased donations – (including brain-death)

    • o In case of living donations

    • o In case of unclaimed bodies in hospital or prison

    • o In case of bodies sent for post-mortem examination for medico-legal or pathological purposes.

  5. 5. Provides the requirements for hospitals and medical practitioners to conduct the removal, storage or transplantation of human organs

  6. 6. Defines the activity, guidelines and constitution of regulatory and advisory bodies for monitoring transplantation

  7. 7. Identifies offences and defines corresponding punishments and penalties

    • o Removal of human organs without authority

    • o Commercial dealings in human organs

    • o Contravention of any other provision of this Act


  1. 1. It includes tissues within the purview of the THOA.

  2. 2. Required request - Makes it mandatory for a doctor in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) to ask every patient or his near relative if the patient is willing to donate tissues and/or organs in case of brain death.

  3. 3. Makes it mandatory to appoint a trained transplant coordinator in every licensed hospital.

  4. 4. It now regulates organ swaps between available near relatives between two or more such families.

  5. 5. Enhances penalties for commercial dealings in organs and tissues and other malpractices.

  6. 6. Empowers the appropriate authority with the powers of civil court.

  7. 7. Broadens the panel of experts who can certify brain-stem death.

  8. 8. Includes grandparents and grandchildren in the definition of near relatives in the case of live donations.

  9. 9. Allows for hospitals to be registered as Human Organ Retrieval Centres

  10. 10. Includes clause of organ donation on documents such as driving licenses.

  11. 11. Proposes establishing a National Network for Donor and Recipient Registries.

  12. 12. Proposes formation of advisory body for the purpose of advising the government and overseeing the programs progress.

Click below titles for further readings:
1. THOA RULES 2014
4. THOA RULES 1994
5. THOA RULES 1995