When in 1994 Indian Parliament enacted a law forbidding human organs trade (THOA), the doctors and donor organizations were forced to rely on altruistic feelings of donors. Medical authorities and politicians defended the new system of donorship referring to the philosophy of unselfish gift, especially gift of the body (deha-dāna) in Vedas, reinterpreting ancient stories of generosity and unselfish giving in a way that convenes with the demands of medical praxis. Nevertheless, the new legislative brought new problems and several medical authorities claim that the system of voluntarily donorship is not the path for India. They are calling for transparent pluralistic system of donorship. In following paper I will try to show how strong and perspective is a symbolic bridge, by which the Indian authorities try to connect the contemporary donor practice with the philosophy of the gift in Vedas.
Dharma, Gift (dāna), Gift of body, Organ donation, Pure gift