While necessary precaution has to be taken to prevent any racketeering in organ donation, officials need not have to be too much rule-bound in authorizing transplants, the High Court of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu has said.
A mother of three children, suffering from chronic renal failure, moved the court when she found she could not go through with a planned renal transplant though a cousin of hers had come forward to donate a kidney of hers. But she came up against certain rules governing such transplants.
Recently the state was wracked by reports that it was organ donation only in name, but it was actually a trade, what with the poor coming forward to sell their kidneys. And worse they were cheated of the money promised them by middlemen. There was little after care too. Such media exposes led to the tightening of the relevant regulations by the state government.
Following the revision of the rules, the hospital performing the operation has to declare that it is a case of genuine transplant and that it would be liable for prosecution if it is later found that the patient has produced forged documents.
Even though it was all above board in the case of the woman patient, the hospital authorities refused to get into that kind of a hassle. They were not willing to set a precedent.
It was in such circumstances the woman moved the court seeking the quashing of the two clauses mandating such undertakings.
In his interim orders, Justice Jyothimani of the Madras High Court said he did not see any reason for the government to insist on such an undertaking when it was the duty of the authorization committee to find out the genuineness of the donor and the recipient.
However, in his interim orders, the Judge said the petitioner and the donor should submit an application in the prescribed form after which the authorities might pass appropriate orders on the application for authorisation for renal transplant without insisting on compliance with clauses 3 and 5 of Transplantation of Human Organs Rules, now being challenged.