DHAKA, July 17, 2017 (BSS) - The cabinet today gave the final approval to the draft of "The Transplantation of Human Organs Law, 2017" aiming to improve the healthcare services by keeping consistency with the excellence in medical science and check trafficking of human organs and their illegal trade.
The approval was given at the regular weekly cabinet meeting held at Bangladesh Secretariat with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, Additional Cabinet Secretary Ashraf Shameem said the government is going to frame the law to improve the healthcare services by keeping consistency with the excellence in medical science and check trafficking of human organs and their illegal trade.
He said under the proposed law, if anybody gives false information about the close relationship between organ donors and recipients or encourage, provoke or threaten anybody to provide such information, he/or she will face maximum two years rigorous imprisonment or highest Tk 5 lakh fine or both the punishment.
Shameem said if anybody violates other rules of the law or helps others in this regard, he will be sentenced highest three years rigorous jail or fined maximum Tk 10 lakh or given the both punishment. He said if any doctor is convicted under the law, his or her registration given by the Bangladesh Medical and Dental Council will be scrapped.
The additional cabinet secretary said if any hospital or clinic violates the law, their owner, director and manager or whatever designation they belong will be considered as the offenders unless they are able to prove that the crimes are committed beyond their knowledge and they tried their best to check those.
He said if any hospital or clinic commits any crime under the law, their organ plantation permission will be cancelled along with imposition of fine.
In this connection, he said it was mentioned in general in the existing law enacted in 1999 that if anybody violates any rule of the law or helps in this regard, he or she will face maximum seven years and minimum three years rigorous imprisonment or Tk three lakh fine or both the punishment.
Shameem said the people of the country don't need to go abroad for their organ transplantation if it is effectively starts in Bangladesh.
The cabinet secretary said the draft law defines close relationship as the relatives like parents, children, brothers, sisters, grandchildren, husband and wife as well as blood related grandparents, maternal and paternal uncles, aunts and cousins.
According to the proposed draft law, any organ to be transplantable to the human body including kidney, liver, bone, eye, heart, lung and tissue could be transplanted after their collection from human bodies having heart beats or in active with life support for transplantation purpose.
Shamim said as per the draft law, no hospital in the country can do the human organ transplantation without prior approval of the government.
He, however, said, the public hospitals having specialised units regarding the concerned organs can conduct the transplantation without taking any approval of the government.
The additional cabinet secretary said a three-member coordination committee will be formed in every hospital comprising a neurologist, an anesthesiologist and a medicine or critical medicine specialist and they will be professors or at least associate professors.
He said the proposed law restricts any person to be included in the committee who is the relative of the person who declared to undergo an organ transplantation.
As per the new proposed law, he said, a National Cadaveric Committee would be constituted with Vice Chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) as its Chairman to oversee the human organ transplantation as well as to advise the government in this regard.
Besides, there will also be a four-member certification board to be headed by a director of the Health Directorate, and no organ transplantation will be allowed in any hospital of the country without certification of the board.
The additional secretary said there will also be a three-member medical board to be headed by a professor of the surgery department in every hospital for deciding the transplantation of the organs.
"The board could also co-opt one or more such expert physicians as its members," he added.
Shamim said the private hospitals will have to apply for certification of the board within 60 days of the enactment of the law.
Ministers and state ministers concerned attended the meeting, while secretaries concerned were present.