Organ transplant bill in PA KP move to regulate surrogacy
PESHAWAR, Dec 10: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on Monday tabled a bill in the provincial assembly to regulate transplantation of human organs. The proposed law also covers surrogacy, stem cell therapy and cloning, for the first time in national history.
Currently, no legislation is available in the country on surrogacy, stem cell use and cloning and if the bill is passed, the provincial assembly will take the lead over other three provinces and the federal government.
The proposed law has earlier been promulgated in shape of an ordinance, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Medical Transplantation Regulatory Authority Ordinance 2012, on Sept 17 and as the constitutional life of the ordinance is three months and therefore, it has now been tabled before the assembly.
“This law is comparatively better than those introduced at the federal level as well as in Punjab and Sindh provinces on the subject as we have taken into consideration every aspect of the issue and this law will be enough for the next 50 years,” special health secretary Professor Noorul Aiman told Dawn after the tabling of the bill in the House.
He said for the first time, issues like surrogacy, stem cell and cloning had been brought for legislation, but these things would be subject to limits of customs and religious beliefs and these should also not be part of financial deal or at the risk of the donor. The ordinance introduced in the assembly was more comprehensive, he claimed.
Answering a question whether these matters would not raise any controversy from the religious circles, he said the law provided formation of an ethical committee which would look after these things and would decide the limits in which such matters could be carried on.
Federal government had enacted translation of human organs and tissues act 2010 but after the passage of the 18 amendment health became a provincial subject and the provinces have to legislate for themselves. However the federal law does not include surrogacy, stem cells and cloning.
Section 4 of the ordinance relates to surrogacy and provides: “Subject to provisions of this ordinance, transient placement of cell or cells in a human host for the purpose of helping another human being in case of infertility or any other therapeutic purpose will be legal, provided that it is within the limit of customs and religious belief.
“Provided further that it is not a part of financial deal or at the risk of the surrogate host.”.
Section 5 of the ordinance relates to stem cell and cloning under which storage, culture and therapeutic use of stem cells will be legal subject to the provision of this ordinance.
Sub Section 2 of the proposed law says stem cells retrieved from umbilical cord of a newborn may be stored, cultured at the request of the parent and used for therapeutic purpose for the individual from whose umbilical cord the stem cells were retrieved or used for an unrelated person after the consent of the relevant individual or his parent if he has not attained the age of eighteen years.
Clause 3 of Section 5 says cloning will be legal to the extent to grow organs for therapeutic human consumption in a prescribed manner.
The proposed law says there will be a medical transplantation regulatory authority at the provincial level after commencement of the ordinance and chief minister will be its chairperson.
The ordinance prohibits removal or transplantation of human organs for any purpose other than therapeutic purpose.
The ordinance says whoever renders his services to or at any medical institution or hospital and who for the purpose of transplantation, conducts, associates with or helps in any manner in the removal of any human organ without authority, will be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to ten years and with fine which may extend to one million rupees.