Feb. 29, 2016

The current Human Organ Transplant Act, 1998, in order to control open trading in kidneys, limits potential donors to immediate relatives. In neighboring India, no limitations are placed on kidney donors, but that may lead to illegal trade in the organ. For Nepal it was felt that some limitations were necessary, but it showed that 1998 bill placed severe limitation that resulted in a large number of patients with renal failure remaining unable to receive a donated organ even though there were kidney donors. That was why the proposal was made to change the Act to meet demand by extending the donor limits. Recently approved bill has broadened the scope of potential kidney donors. Proposed changed to the Act are based on a report submitted to the MOH by the government-formed Human Organ Transplant Coordination Committee. Under the draft legislation now husband, wife, son, daughter, adopted son, adopted daughter, father mother, stepfathers, stepmothers, grandfather, grandmother, grandson, granddaughter, brothers, sisters could also donate their kidneys to their relatives. It is also inclusive of father's elder brother, mother's elder sister, father in law, mother in law, uncle, aunt, maternal uncles/aunts, father's sister and her husband, sister's husband, sister in law, brother in law, daughter in law, son in law, nieces/nephews, and cousins. In case of adopted son and daughter, there should be at least two years of smooth relationship.

There are over 2.7 million Nepalese suffering from kidney failure. Nepalese patients used to go to India for transplants at a minimum cos of Rs 1 million (about USD 12,700). In Nepal, the cost was cut to about Rs 300,000.

The amendment to the Act has allowed the removal of organs (kidneys, lungs, heart, liver pancreas and small intestine) from the clinically dead people and their transplant to the needy. Among the new provisions is brain dead organ donation, which can be a source of several major organs such as two kidneys, two lungs, one liver, one heart, one pancreas, one small intestine, two corneas and other organs and tissues. Thus, this Act opens up the possibility of other types of organ transplantation as well.