Thursday, February 9, 2023

Minor’s plea to donate liver tissue to father: Delhi HC to continue hearing tomorrow, asks ILBS officer to be present

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The Delhi High Court on Monday directed the medical superintendent of the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) to remain present at court on the next date of hearing, in a plea seeking to set aside an order dated August 28, 2021, passed by ILBS and Authorization Committee as per Section 13(1) of Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act 1994, whereby, the petitioner had been prohibited to donate a part of his liver, to his ailing father. 

A single-judge bench of Justice Rekha Palli further directed ILBS to file the reports of all the test conducted by the Hospital while setting out the tests that are a part of the checklist for liver donation and the ones additionally conducted by ILBS.

Advocate Siddharth Panda appearing for the ILBS submitted that results for certain tests were awaited.

“This cannot go on like this, you have been saying this for two weeks,” Justice Palli stated, expressing her displeasure.

Advocate Naushad Ahmed Khan appearing on the behalf of the Delhi government submitted that they were unable to pass an order as the material submitted before the Appropriate Authority was insufficient to examine the application.

Previously, the court had directed the ILBS to submit all the mandatory tests that have to be conducted to assess the feasibility of donation of liver by the minor petitioner, before the Appropriate Authority by the end of the same day.

According to the petition, the petitioner’s father is suffering from advance stage of liver failure. The petitioner’s father is undergoing treatment at ILBS and is in urgent need of a liver transplant. 

The petition avers, several family members of the petitioner’s family have applied for the donation of their liver, including his mother, elder brother, aunt and uncle, but due to certain medical complications, the applications could not be accepted.

The petition further avers, upon testing it was found that, the petitioner could donate a part of his liver to his father and hence, on August 27, 2021, the petitioner applied to the Authorization Committee, for the permission to donate a part of his liver, to his father. On August 28, 2021 the said application was rejected, stating, the petitioner was a minor. The petitioner’s age on the date of refusal was 17 years, 8 months and 19 days.

According to the petition, in Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act 1994, there is no absolute bar on donation of Human Organ or Tissue by a minor. Rule 5(3)(g) of Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Rules 2014, states, living organ or tissue donation by minor is not permitted, except medical grounds to be recommended in detail, with justification and prior approval of competent authority.

The petition was filed and argued by Advocate Prasoon Kumar and has been listed for further arguments on October 26.

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