On 6 January 2004, the Human Organ Transplant Act (HOTA) was amended to allow more Singaporeans to benefit from organ donation. The main amendments to HOTA were (a) to extend HOTA beyond kidneys to include livers, hearts and corneas; (b) to extend HOTA beyond deaths due to accidents to include all causes of deaths; and (c) to extend HOTA beyond cadaveric organ donation to also regulate living donor organ transplants. In this article, we review the amendments to HOTA and the Interpretation (Determination and Certification of Death) Regulations and examine the impact of HOTA on organ procurement and transplantation in Singapore.
Kidney transplants have been carried out in Singapore for more than 35 years, with the first cadaveric kidney transplant operation performed on 8 July 1970. However, prior to the commencement of the Human Organ Transplant Act (HOTA) in 1988, there was only a small number of kidney transplants; between 1970 and 1987, only 85 cadaveric kidney transplants were carried out using kidneys procured from local donors in Singapore.
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