Six persons held for trying to sell kidneys to two patients on January 25

The Directorate of Medical Services (DMS) has suspended the kidney transplant licence of M.R. Hospital, Aminjikarai, in connection with the arrest of six persons, who had tried to sell kidneys to two patients admitted to the hospital on January 25.

Two patients – Jayamani from Erode and Chandra from Kolathur – were admitted to the hospital with kidney problems. They were approached by three women brokers, who introduced them to two potential women donors, according to officials.

Officials said the Authorisation Committee constituted under the Transplantation of Human Organs Act (THOA), 1994 detected a commercial deal between the recipients and donors during the interview for approval of the kidney transplant. The committee found that the recipients and donors were unrelated, contrary to their claims.

“During the interview, the committee members suspected that the recipients and donors were not related and the certificates scrutinised. It was found that there was a commercial deal between the two parties, which is a violation of the Act,” an official said.

Following a complaint from the Director of Medical Education, who is the committee chairman, police arrested six persons – three brokers, two prospective donors and the husband of one of the donors. Officials from the DMS, who is the Appropriate Authority as per the Act, conducted a raid on the hospital.

“We have suspended the hospital’s kidney transplant licence. Criminal proceedings have been initiated. However, the hospital has claimed that it is in no way connected to the illegal act and that it did not occur on its premises,” he said.

He said the Appropriate Authority had the right to suspend the transplant licence of any hospital that acts in violation of the Act. “The hospital can put forward its explanation during investigation,” he added.

The suspension would be reviewed if the hospital appealed to the Appellate Authority, he said.

Officials said the suspension had been orally communicated to the Cadaver Transplant Programme of Tamil Nadu, and it would be notified on its website, once the decision was formally communicated.