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Wednesday September 18, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Wednesday September 18, 2013 MYT 7:21:57 AM
by sarban singh
SEREMBAN: Those found to be involved in the trading of human organs and tissues are liable to be fined up to RM1mil and jailed up to 20 years if the proposal by the Health Ministry is approved by Parliament.
Those convicted of offering, initiating and getting involved in any commercial negotiation to supply organs and human tissues are also liable to similar penalties under the proposed Organ and Tissue Transplantation Bill.
The new regulations have been drafted to replace the Human Tissue Act 1974, a set of laws that touched only on organ and tissue transplants from dead persons.
The planned new laws touch on a range of issues connected to organ and tissue transplants, covering procurement from living and dead donors and being in possession of organ and tissues, role of families of donors, child donors, transplants from animals and the penalties and punishments that are liable to be imposed on those who flout the laws.
The Bill is set to encourage more people to become organ and tissue donors as only about 50 actual donors emerge each year.
It is learnt that as of June, more than 17,000 patients nationwide were waiting for transplants.
The Health Ministry has sought feedback from the public on the new Bill, which has been uploaded on its website till Sept 26 before it proceeds to table the draft laws in the Dewan Rakyat.
In the planned new laws, anyone involved in the procurement of organs and tissue from a living donor without prior authorisation can be fined up to RM500,000 or sent to prison for a period not exceding 15 years, or both.
Anyone procuring organs or tissues from a dead person will be slapped with a similar punishment.
The organ and tissue of any of the body parts will be allowed to be used for other therapeutic purposes or for medical research.
However, the Bill states the person lawfully in possession of the body of a deceased person may also allow the organs and tissues to be harvested if he had a reason to believe the deceased had never objected to this during his lifetime.
The persons deemed lawful include the dead person’s spouse, parents, grandparents, siblings, uncles or aunts, children and nephews or nieces aged 18 and above.
Under the proposed law, the harvesting of organs or tissue from executed prisoners is prohibited.
The Bill also says that any individual who advertises or distributes an advertisement inviting others to supply human organs and tissue can also be charged with a fine not exceeding RM100,000, or jailed for up to five years or both for the offence.
The Bill also states that no human organ procured from a living or deceased donor shall be allocated to non-Malaysian citizens.
The Bill states that a child was also allowed to donate his or her tissue provided that the tissue was regenerative, the recipient was a sibling and that the donor had been assessed by an independent donor advocacy committee.
Transplantation of an organ or tissue from animals to humans can only be performed if prior approval is obtained from the Health director-general.
Also, medical practitioners must, among others, obtain a written consent from the recipient for transplantation of an organ or tissue procured from animals before carrying out the procedure.
Tags / Keywords:
Health, Family & Community, organ, tissue, transplantation, bill, trading, procuring
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