Non-relative Donors can donate kidneys: HC

Voluntary donors beyond certain relatives can donate kidneys, the High Court ruled. An HC bench comprising of Justice Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury and Justice Khandaker Diliruzzaman delivered the verdict in response to a petition challenging the legality of the 1999 Organ Transplantation Act, which allowed only blood relatives to donate organs.

The court told the Directorate General of Health Services and the Health Ministry to bring an amendment to the Organ Transplantation Act-1999 [amended in 2018] incorporating a provision in six months so that the donors, including near relatives, can donate organs to the patients, said petitioner's counsel Rashna Imam.

The petition sought the extension of the legal organ donor, which now limits only to close relatives to transplant their organs for patients. The writ challenged three provisions of the Organ Transplantation Act 1999 and sought a guideline to regulate organ donation and transplantation.

On Aug 24, 2017, the HC has issued a rule upon the government, seeking an explanation as to why Sections 2(Ga), 3 and 6 of the Organ Transplantation Act 1999 should not be declared illegal. The writ also sought a ruling questioning the failure of the defence to regulate organ donation and transplantation by framing rules and regulations in 1999.