AN OVERVIEW OF ORGAN/TISSUE TRANSPLANTATION AND THE ROLE OF LAW IN NIGERIAAbstract:
The practice of organ/tissue transplantation as a medical sub-specialty has over the years gained worldwide popularity as the modern treatment option for End Stage Organ Failure. As a result, therefore, it has garnered a lot of attention from a wide spectrum of society on the important issues, challenges and considerations arising from the practice. The research has therefore attempted through doctrinal research, to present a general overview of the subject of organ/tissue transplantation and to put into perspective all the arrays of issues associated with the practice by tracing the historical development of organ/tissue transplantation, outlined and discussed some of the contemporary and controversial issues associated with the practice. The research also examined some of the ways in which the law has intervened to stabilize the practice through the provision of a workable, fair and equitable regulatory framework. The research also discussed the practice in Nigeria through a brief analysis of its development, impediments and the existence, legal framework put in place for the management of the practice. The research then proceeded to examine some novel trends, ideas, research and innovations in the transplantation sector that will potentially bear heavily on the future of organ transplantation as a sustainable treatment option. The research findings show that certain challenges exist in this practice even with the advent of the National Health Act 2014, the law does not adequately protect vulnerable citizens from organ commercialization and tourism. This research recommends that certain sections especially sections 48 and 51 of the National Health Act be repealed and there should be more emphasis on donor consent and Government should do more within its power to protect the vulnerable by upgrading hospitals to international standards and possibly include organ transplant in the National Health Insurance Scheme.