Proposed amendment in law on motor vehicles
Under the move, the Union Road Transport and Highways Ministry will introduce driving licence forms with an option to declare that the licence holder is willing to donate organs in case of accidental death. A draft to amend the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, has been published, which must be implemented by the States.
Statistics on road accidents
The death rate due to road accidents in India is among the highest globally – 11 per lakh population, according to World Road Statistics 2015 published by International Road Federation, Geneva.
In 2015, 1.46 lakh people were killed in road accidents in the country, which translates into 400 road deaths per day — an increase of five per cent over 2014, as per official estimates.
Rationale behind proposed amendment
There is little awareness among people of organ donations. Around 1.5 lakh people die in road accidents every year, many of them from severe head injury. People who end up brain dead can donate their organs. An NGO, Gift Your Organ Foundation, estimates that about 67 per cent of those who die in road accidents suffer head injuries and a significant number are left brain dead.
Low rate of organ donation in India
One estimate by Organ India, an NGO, says there is a need for about 200,000 kidneys, 50,000 hearts and 50,000 livers for transplantation each year. Currently, around 5,000 kidneys, 1,000 livers and a small number of hearts are transplanted annually.
The Organ Donation Rate of 0.26 per million in India is poor, compared with America’s 26, Spain’s 35.3, and Croatia’s 36.5 per million.