Taiwan Legal Update: MOEA Focuses on Three Types of Bill Promotion for Legislative Yuan’s New Session & Paired Living Kidney Donations Exchange Legalized in Taiwan

WEEKY NEWS PICTURE (TW)

Taiwan Legal Update: MOEA Focuses on Three Types of Bill Promotion for Legislative Yuan’s New Session & Paired Living Kidney Donations Exchange Legalized in Taiwan

MOEA Focuses on Three Types of Bill Promotion for Legislative Yuan’s New Session

As the new session of the Legislative Yuan started on February 15, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) revealed three directions on promoting bills, which are the draft amendments to the Renewable Energy Development Regulations, Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and Industrial Innovation Regulations.

Minister of Economics, Rong-jin Shen, revealed the sorts of the three major promotion bills before the Lunar New Year Holiday.  Shen said that revised draft of the Renewable Energy Development Regulations proposed last year, relaxed the regulation on installing small hydraulic power and the third type of solar photovoltaic plant; such non-large-scale devices can be applied to less complicated procedures. Moreover, major electric users are obliged to install a certain portion of the renewable energy power plant, which will help promote the construction of related devices. The draft also opens up the renewable energy industry to freely convert, use,  purchase or trade with private enterprises, so that the industry is more willing to sell electricity to the relatively short-term private enterprises under the contract, and activate the green energy market transactions. At present, the draft has passed first reading and it is still pending for negotiation between parties.

To be in line with the preparations for joining CPTPP, MOEA previously promoted 12 amendment bills. The remaining four are still pending before the Legislative Yuan, including the Patent Act, the Copyright Act, the Trademark Act and the Digital Communication Act, among which the Patent Act, the Copyright Act and the Trademark Act are waiting for second reading, and the digital communication law is still pending for negotiation.

The draft amendment to the Industrial Innovation Regulations is in response to the original bill which will lost effect at the end of this year. The Ministry of Economic Affairs revised part of the provisions in January, extended the implementation period for another 10 years, and added smart machinery, 5G and talent cultivation deduction projects into the bills. Additionally, the current research and development would enjoy a 5% of deduction rate based on the MOE’s version of the draft. However, the Ministry of Finance, in charge of taxation, still have discrepancies with MOEA. In fact, the Ministry of Finance opposing the increase in talent cultivation offsetting, and the R&D investment deduction was yet to be discussed.

The two ministries were invited to negotiate in the first joint session of the new year held by Executive Yuan and the Ninth Legislative Yuan on February 18 to discuss priority legislative bills. Besides the aforementioned bills proposed by MOEA, around 40 high-priority bills were discussed, including drafts regarding the implementation of same-sex marriage, increased punishments for drunk driving, and preventing child abuse.

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Paired Living Kidney Donations Exchange Legalized in Taiwan

The Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW)  announced new regulations regarding living kidney exchanges between two pairs of incompatible donors and recipients who are bloody related in order to increase the possibility of successful transplant for recipients waiting for kidney transplants and to improve the survival rate and quality of life of patients with end-stage renal disease. Appropriate kidney donors, under their own will, could exchange and undergo donation transplant surgery after obtaining the organ transplant medical ethics committee’s approval.

According to the statistics, 7,460 Taiwanese candidates have been waiting for kidney transplants last year. Nevertheless, there were only 181 deceased kidney donors and 163 living donations between family members. Despite the trend of living donation increases gradually, thousands of patients have struggle waiting for transplants. It is believed that the new regulations increase patients’ chances of receiving kidney donations, as relatives who were willing to donate their kidneys but were incompatible with the patient had to give up the opportunity to help family members in the past.

Following an amendment to the Human Organ Transplantation Act  stipulating that living-donations are limited to fifth-degree relatives in 2015, an exception to the rule was made for kidneys that permits more than two pairs of living kidney donors and recipients who do not have matching blood types to exchange donors, so that each recipient can get a kidney from the donor with a compatible blood type.

The two pairs of donors-recipients living kidney donations from non-family members will be strictly reviewed by the hospital to prevent money transaction behind the scene.

Prior to performing the operation, each patient shall report to the medical ethics committee of the hospital for the first medical review and complete the registration form in the organ donation transplant registration system.

If the match is found, the hospitals of two or multiple parties will conduct a cross-assessment, which is in line with the donation and the person to be transplanted, and the second review will be conducted by the medical ethics committee of the hospital at the same time.

After being reviewed and approved by the hospital’s medical ethics committee twice, the case will be sent to the central competent authority for final approval.

The paired exchange kidney donation surgeries must take place at the same time, donors and recipients may change their minds and withdraw their consent at any point before the surgery.

The registration and matching operation of the live kidney exchange donation transplant operation will be handled by the Taiwan Organ Registry and Sharing Center’s platform, where the relevant operation standards and implementation details can be consulted.

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