Contemporary Issues on Organ Donation and Transplantation in Nigeria: A Discussion

Publication Information

Journal Title: Journal of Legal Studies & Research
Author(s): Titilayo O. Aderibigbe & Adesoji K. Adebayo
Published On: 01/08/2022
Volume: 8
Issue: 4
First Page: 71
Last Page: 96
ISSN: 2455-2437
Publisher: The Law Brigade Publisher

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Titilayo O. Aderibigbe & Adesoji K. Adebayo, Contemporary Issues on Organ Donation and Transplantation in Nigeria: A Discussion, Volume 8 Issue 4, Journal of Legal Studies & Research, 71-96, Published on 01/08/2022, Available at


Organ donation and transplantation is one of the areas of bioethical advancement in medicine that is attracting more attention in health care especially in developing countries like Nigeria.  The technological advancement in medical technology has made it possible to prolong the lives of the patients having organs problems through transplantation of organs. However, one of the major challenges of organ transplantation in Nigeria is scarcity, because the number of organs available outnumbered the patients on the waiting list. This article examines contemporary issues and problems in relation to organ donation and transplantation in Nigeria among which are; sale of organs to the highest bidder, consent problems, compromised nature of medical personnel, cultural and religious influence, paucity of the Nigerian legal frame work and limited advance equipment in the health sector. The article also discusses the possible solutions to these challenges by drawing inference from other jurisdictions such as Belgium and United Kingdom. By adopting a doctrinal method of research through the use of primary and secondary materials such as Statutes, decided cases, journals, textbooks, conference papers, articles and magazines and finds the issues are a combination of socio-cultural and legal issues hindering the acceptability of organ donation and transplantation in Nigeria. It concludes that the issues can be addressed through adequate sensitization of the public on the need to donate organs to save lives and that government should make provisions to compensate those who altruistically donate in order to reduce sale of organs for financial gains. This article recommends that Nigerian Legislators should draw inferences from other jurisdictions with comprehensive legislations on organ donation and transplantation to review their National Health Act.

Keywords: Organ donation and transplantation, National Health Act, Donor apathy, Opt-in and Opt-out organ donor system

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