Is the sale of kidney legal in India?


Kidney sale, also known as kidney trafficking or organ trade, is a severe issue in India and worldwide. This illegal practice involves buying and selling kidneys, often from vulnerable individuals desperate for money.

In India, kidney demand is high due to a shortage of donors and an increase in kidney-related diseases. This has led to a rise in kidney sales, with many individuals and organizations exploiting vulnerable people for profit.

Kidney sale and organ transplantation

One can purchase clothing, food, furniture, daily necessities, and even organs at a very high price. To illustrate, purchasing a kidney can cost Rs. 5 to 6 lakhs, depending on the urgency of the needer. 

Even though the Government has banished selling and purchasing organs in the Country, the need for kidneys is so high that open internet forums succeed despite efforts to end it. 

With that, due to the people giving their kidneys often for cash as the kidneys are sold for higher prices, they are always ready to get the sale kidney when they get the right price.

Demand and scarcity of organs in India

The technological and medical improvements over the past century have caused the transplantation of organs to be the best cure for the temporary and permanent failure of organs. It has changed the lives of thousands of human being global. Yet, the rise in organ demand for transplantation hugely overshadows its supply from donors, both alive and dead.

There is a rise in the waiting list of people for transplantation, but there are inadequate organs. That resulted in the death of the people on the waiting list.

The most important obstacle to transplantation and donation is a lack of knowledge and understanding. With that, superstition, disbelief, and grief are all important obstacles that stop people from donating their organs. The Government's efforts to give awareness and knowledge are still insufficient. A donation from a dead donor whose brain died before the heart can save the life of eight persons who are alive but brain dead. 

Raising the organ donation rates in India to one donation per million deaths could fully meet the demand for organ transplantation. To make it happen, one must know the extent of such a tender matter. Yet, governmental and private institutions are seeking to meet the gap between both recipients and donors through some programs. Still, people have to be inspired to come up after understanding that their donation can save someone's life.

Laws governing organ transplantation in India

According to the "Institutionalization of the Transplantation of Human Organs Act" Selling kidneys in India has not been legal since 1994.

The law and amendments of the transplantation of organs have gone through minor and major modifications in the form of the addition of rules and amendments to improve the Act to make it much more acceptable legally. Along with time, there is a growth in the laws and procedures concerning the same described in the past years. Now let's look at the Act, the laws, the modifications, and their history.

History of the Organ transplantation law:

Let's look into the history of organ transplantation in India.

Organ transplantation rose mainly in the beginning of 80 s and 90s centuries. The first case of transplantation was first held and done in 1970. But at that time, transplantation was limited only to living donors and only to some selected urban areas. Gradually, the transplantation of kidneys was raised through the establishment of new hospitals and better healthcare workers. Yet, it directed to the prominent trade of kidneys in the Country in the early 80s, which witnessed a broad range of media. Due to this, foreigners come to India for the transplantation of the Kidney.

Viewing the continuing scam of the Kidney that happened in 1991, the Central Government formed a board to create news that would be the cause of the body governing the transplantation of organs throughout the globe. That was also accomplished to nicely explain the word 'brain death.'

The THOA, also known as The Transplantation of Human Organs Act, was made in 1994 by the Indian Government. It makes brain death in India lawful by permitting dead donation by getting organs from a deceased brain person. 

The THOA was obeyed in 1995 and was revised in 2014, expanding the need for the donation and transplantation of organs.

Transplantation of Human Organs Act (THOA), 1994:

India set the THOA Act in 1994, which aspired to make the donation and transplantation of organs convenient. The direct object of the THOA is to ban retail sales of organs by holding the disposal, holding, and transplantation of the organs for restoring needs. 

In a broad sense, the Act defined brain death as a kind of death and made trading organs unlawful. With the entry of brain death, it likely evolved to start organ transplants, including kidney, liver, heart, pancreas, and so on. According to this Act, certain people can donate organs:

  • A close relative to the patient can be a donor that includes a father, son, brother, daughter, mother, spouse, and sister)
  • Apart from the above-mentioned closed one, a person can donate out of passion and affection or for any other special reason with the deal of the license board.
  • Dead donors, mainly after the end of the stem of their stem, such as prey of an unexpected happening.

The THOA Act 1994 has clear needs linking to the source for removing human organs and the safety of the organs. The law runs in the transplantation and storage of the organs of the human body, the parts of the suitable rule, and the prosecution for offenses connecting to the matters above. Yet, due to challenges in holding the Act, it was required to make it stricter, so the state amended the requirements in 2011.

2011 Amendment:

The amendment of 2011 permits organ transplantation and expands the number of organ donors by counting grandchildren and grandparents on the list. The 2011 Amendment act had some powerful edits that are as follows:

  • According to the 2011 amendment Act, the 'Center of Recovery' would be set to regain organs from deceased donors and their enrollment.
  • The certification board of brain-dead ones has been simplified, and more experts can now work in that method.
  • A compulsory 'Coordinator for transplant' is liable for managing all elements, that is, transferring a healthy organ from one body to another.
  • The term close relative has been expanded by including granddaughter and grandchildren.
  • In the sad affair of the brain stem death of the patient in the ICU for the donation process, a 'required' inquiry and the edifying option to donate are needed.

Other than that, donating organs is our Country's main honest and ethical need, which is not an issue in other countries. 

National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO)

As per the preface of the act in 2015, the 2011 Modification to the previous act that was made in 1994 laid the framework for this act in 2015, which has been vital in holding the transplantation and donations of organs in India.

The primary goal of this club’s shape is to enable the dead donation of organs to give organs to the one who needs them, as the transplantation will help the one to live their life. It also plans to set up an adequate system for procuring organs from deceased donors and spreading them for transplantation to the one who needs them.

The association sets policy policies and rules for diverse benefits, having data overseeing organ transplant administration and organ donation registry.

It unites with the SOTTO and ROTTO act, which means State Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation and Regional Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation, with other institutions that handle the transplantation of organs in India.

How much would you pay for a Kidney?

Roughly the cost of a kidney in India is Rs. 5 to 6 lakhs. The cost depends on one's urgency. Transplantation of the Kidney in India can be done at a lower price than in other countries. With that, there is no compromise with the treatment they give.

All we discussed above are the average cost of the transplantation that various best hospital offers in India. In India, the transplantation cost begins from ₹5,99,714 to ₹11,99,429. Yet, in some cases, it can go up to 12 lakhs for some specifically needed surgery.

If any international patients are there, they have to come with a valid donor who is ready to donate the kidney; with that, they are the right match. Transplantation of cadaveric kidneys is not possible for international patients. Only domestic patients are allowed for cadaveric transplantation.

Consequences of selling a kidney

There is very little risk involved in kidney transplantation when the donor is healthy. Still, there are some risks. For example, kidney donation can barely raise one's risk of kidney failure someday. But this risk is very less. There is just a 1% chance that can make a person's kidney failure after the donation.

One must get themself examined before donating their kidney to check if they are medically fit or if they will remain fine after the transplantation. First, the doctor will examine your kidney with the patient's kidney to check if you are the perfect match. Then, after donating the kidneys, the doctor will also check you to ensure that you are free from all health problems and will not suffer from any long-term problems.

Transplantation of the kidney involves surgery. Those surgeries can increase the risk of over-bleeding or after-surgery pain. However, most of the time, the donor recovers with few or no problems. Once you are done with the surgery, you must stay for one or two nights for the check-up and medications. After that, you can only take the rest of your medication at your home. This is because your kidney will grow bigger and filter the waste material. The survival rate for the kidney donor is generally healthy people who are not the donors of the kidney. After kidney donation, it is essential to visit the clinic for monthly/ annual check-ups. Those tests include kidney check-ups, blood tests, and Blood Pressure checks.


The sale of organs, also known as organ trading, is a sad reality in most parts of India. On the one hand, people sell their organs out of humanity, donations, or when they are poor and want to end their debt. But on the other hand, most of the trading of these organs occurs out of the force for irrelevant donors. In our Country, the Government making these laws should execute strict rules and regulations showing the illicit organ's trading. However, the Transplantation of Human Organs Act 1994 has certain drawbacks. 

The law was made to help the one who needs the organs, so why are there so many limitations there? There is a large opening between the supply and demand of the organs. One of the harshest reality for kidney selling is that kidney in India is sold for a hefty amount, due to which great selling of kidney for help isn't possible, and people have created this trading as a business. To solve this problem, the Indian Government must legalize the sale of kidneys or take prompt action to solve this critical problem. We hope that you understood the overall concept. If you have any queries to ask, or you are stuck in a case where you aren't able to get your share in the property of your demised husband, feel free to contact us. Our experienced lawyers will help you by giving you easy solutions. You can call us at +919284293610 or email us at