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     FrontPage Edition: Fri 14 Nov 2008

Proposed amendments to the Human Organ Transplant Act

Source: www.moh.gov.sg

MOH Seeks Public Feedback On Proposed Amendments To The Human Organ Transplant Act

The Ministry of Health (MOH) is proposing three amendments to the Human Organ Transplant Act (HOTA). They are:
(a) Lift the upper age limit for cadaveric organ donation;
(b) Allow donor-recipient paired matching for exchanges of organs; and
(c) Compensate living donors according to international ethical practices.
MOH is seeking views and feedback from the public as well as healthcare professionals and stakeholders from the healthcare industry on the proposals. The Consultation Paper and the draft amendments are available on the MOH website at www.MOH.gov.sg and can also be accessed at the Government Online Consultation Portal at www.REACH.gov.sg.
SAVING MORE LIVES
The proposed amendments are aimed at raising organ transplantation rates to save more lives and at protecting the welfare of living donors.
HOTA currently limits cadaveric donors to those below 60 years of age. With improved health and longer expectancy of life, some older persons can be suitable donors. The removal of the age limit is also in line with international practice. The proposed amendments could provide up to 10 or 12 additional organ donors per year.
Paired matching is a way of matching living donors with compatible recipients across two or more donor-recipient pairs who are incompatible within the pair. The recipients essentially exchange donors so that each recipient can receive a medically suitable organ. With paired matching, more patients can now receive organs. Paired matching also enables donor-recipient matches which are more medically compatible for improved transplant outcomes.
To protect the welfare of living donors, MOH is proposing that these donors be compensated for direct costs incurred as a result of the donation, and indirect losses such as lost earnings and future expenses due to the donation. The compensation framework will be in line with international and local ethical recommendations.
HOTA will continue to prohibit the buying and selling of organs. To protect donors and recipients from exploitation by unscrupulous middlemen, MOH is proposing to raise the penalties to deter organ trading syndicates and unscrupulous middlemen.
Public consultation
The Ministry would be seeking the publicís feedback on the proposed amendments to HOTA in the following areas:
(a) Should HOTA be amended to lift the upper age limit for presumed consent for cadaveric organ donation?
(b) Should HOTA be amended to allow paired matching for exchange of organs between donor-recipient pairs?
(c) Should HOTA be amended to provide reasonable compensation to support the welfare of living donors?
(d) Should HOTA be amended to increase the penalties for organ trading syndicates and middlemen?
All feedback should reach the Ministry by 15 December 2008. All feedback and comments should be addressed to:
"Feedback on Proposed Amendments to HOTA"
Ministry of Health, Singapore
College of Medicine Building
16 College Road
Singapore 169854
E mail: MOH_HOTA@moh.gov.sg
Fax: 6325 1686
Ministry of Health
12 November 2008

Source: www.moh.gov.sg Press Release 14 Nov 2008

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