Living-donor liver transplants and cadaveric liver transplants

Came across a very interesting report today in The Hindu that talks about a successful living-donor liver transplant from a 59-year-old mother to her daughter. The piece of liver that was transplanted into the daughter has regenerated into a full grown liver inside the daughter’s body and had made her normal again. The liver in the mother’s body has also regenerated itself fully and she is back to normal as well. Amazing stuff – thanks to Dr. K.C. Tan of Singapore – the world’s top living-donor liver transplant surgeon.

Amidst the happy story, something caught my attention:

Her husband Kamal rushed her to Singapore and took her to the National University Hospital, where it was discovered that Meenu had acute liver failure and needed transplant surgery. A cadaveric liver (harvested from individuals who have died) was ruled out, as Meenu was not a Singapore national. The only life-saving option was to find a matching live donor.

Here is a person who has come to a country for treatment, whose life is in danger and cadaveric transplant is ruled out because she is not a national of your country??!!!

We all know that Singapore has some crazy laws like the Caning stuff. But this, one? Not sure how other countries (including India and the USA) handle such a life-threatening situation? 

Kaps, maybe you can throw some light on why Singapore has such a law. Maybe there is a more rational explanation.


  1. Anonymous said July 25, 2006, 12:24 pm:


    This is news to me. I haven’t heard of such a rule. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

  2. Anonymous said July 26, 2006, 3:21 am:

    Thanks Kaps. Please let us know if you find anything interesting on this subject.