NA tackles trade of donated body parts
Ha Noi — The National Assembly's Standing Committee confirmed that the commercialisation of donating body parts was strictly prohibited in Viet Nam.
Members of the committee decided on the prohibition on commercialising the donation of body parts and tissue grafting at a meeting in the capital yesterday.
Vice Chairman of the National Assembly Nguyen Van Yeu said deputies confirmed that the main purpose of the law on donation of body parts was to save human lives and help the development of scientific research.
Yeu petitioned the law drafting committee to think of a token gift regime for the donors, similar to procedures for blood donation.
Regarding the donation of body parts, many delegates agreed with the proposed law that aimed to discourage people from donating body parts voluntarily while they were still alive, particularly parts that cannot be rehabilitated for use.
“Only donors who are over 18-years-old are allowed to decide to make donations,” agreed the law makers. “This stipulation totally conforms to the Civil Code,” they said.
In discussions on the creation of tissue banks, a few delegates agreed on a draft law allowing organisations or individuals to engage in the business. However, Clause 2, Article 4 mentions that this business must be not for profit organisations.
Numerous delegates were afraid that the establishment of the tissue banks might trigger the commercial sale of body parts. Delegates opted for the operation of state-owned banks only.
Chairwoman of the National Assembly's Social Affairs Committee Nguyen Thi Hoai Thu asked the drafting committee to include a provision on preventing sale of body parts in the law.
“Vietnamese individuals should not be allowed to go abroad to donate tissues or body parts, unless the donation is for their immediate family members” said Thu.
Vice Chairmen of the National Assembly's Legal Committee Phan Trung Ly and Tran The Vuong, said though Articles 33, 34 and 35 of the Civil Code covered the donation of dead bodies to medical research, the specialised law should go into detail on the matter.
The law on the donation of body parts and tissue grafting has seven chapters and 33 articles. It will be discussed at the coming May sitting of the National Assembly and be approved at a sitting of the Assembly at the end of the year.
According to the Ministry of Health, at present about 6,000 kidney patients are awaiting kidney transplants and 1,500 patients awaiting liver transplants, while 5,000 others are in line for cornea transplants.
In addition, the demand for dead bodies for medical research is growing in the country. At present, the ratio of dead bodies for medical students to practice their surgery skills is one for 400.
It is hoped that when the law is approved, many more lives will be saved and the country's medical sector will gain many more scientific achievements.
Industrial Relations law
NA Chairman Nguyen Van An criticised enforcement of industrial relations law yesterday, and said law violations were made by employers, employees and local authorities.
Speaking at a debate on labour disputes yesterday, An said employers regularly violate the rights of labourers at strikes, withheld some payroll entitlements, prolonged probation periods and failed to improve poor working conditions.
Meanwhile, workers didn't follow strike regulations and lax management was a problem among local authorities.
An cited that 60 per cent of enterprises haven't set up trade unions.
Vice President Truong My Hoa said the problems didn't stem from the lack of laws but from the fact that enterprises didn't respect the law and workers didn't understand legislation.
She asked whether it's necessary to revise the law.
The president of the Viet Nam General Confederation of Labour, Cu Thi Hau, said the reason for recent illegal strikes was that many enterprises didn't want to set up trade unions.
At some other enterprises, the role of trade unions was too vague, she said.
In addition, the Labour Law stipulates that in a legal strike trade unions must gather opinions from at least 51 per cent of labourers.
Hau also said the enterprise's conciliation council was struggling with some weaknesses, such as a lack of the ability to solve disputes between the collective and employers.
Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affair Nguyen Thi Hang said discussions for the revised Labour Law aimed to clarify solutions on labour disputes, as well as clarify the rights and responsibilities of both sides and the sequence of necessary steps to be taken in solving disputes.
Hang said the time for dispute conciliation would be cut down to three days at the grass-root level since receiving complaints about the seven days of conciliation according to the current law.
Many deputies agreed that it's necessary for the provincial-level referee council to tackle labour disputes.
Some delegates pointed out the need for compensation in illegal strikes to ensure legitimate rights for all sides, an area that required careful study for the drafting of any new regulations. — VNS
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