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LDP to draft legalizing organ transplants for minors.

TOKYO, July 17 Kyodo


A ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) panel deliberating issues related to organ transplants decided Wednesday to draft by September legislation to allow transplants from brain-dead donors under 15, LDP lawmakers said.

The current Organ Transplant Law limits brain-dead donors to those aged over 15, a restriction which forbids surgery such as heart transplants for children.

Members of the LDP's Research Commission on Brain Death, Life Ethics and Organ Transplants have criticized the current law and agreed to try to amend it, the lawmakers said.

The draft is likely to allow organ transplants from brain-dead children aged under 15 with the consent of their parents.

Once the LDP compiles a draft, it will propose an amendment to a nonpartisan parliamentary league on the issue and prepare to submit the bill to the Diet, they said.

The number of child patients who go abroad to receive heart transplants has been increasing despite the organ transplant law taking effect in October 1997.

About 20 children aged up to 17 have received heart transplants overseas since the law became effective and 12 children have died either before or after going abroad without having had an operation, according to a recent survey of the Japanese Society of Pediatric and Cardiac Surgery.
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Publication:Japan Policy & Politics
Date:Jul 22, 2002
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