The Madras High Court has come to the aid of a 55-year-old man of Goa by directing the Tamil Nadu authorities to give approval within two weeks for a liver transplant on him by using a part of the organ to be donated by his son, in a city hospital.
A Vacation Judge, Justice M.Venugopal observed that the relationship certificate issued by the Additional Secretary (Health), Goa, on May 8 this year was well within the purview of the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act and the relevant rules. As a logical corollary, there was no need for the Tamil Nadu Director of Medical Education (DME) to refuse approval. Since the DME’s order of April 18 was not a valid one, the Judge said he was setting it aside.
P.Nagaraj Prabhu was suffering from a liver disease due to tumour. It could be cured only by transplantation. His son, Shailendra N.Prabhu (21) was willing to donate a part of his liver to save his father’s life. The transplantation is to be performed in Global Hospital and Health City, Sholinganallur, near here. The petitioner’s wife and son had submitted the respective affidavits in the required format to the DME. Mr.Nagaraj Prabhu said he had complied with the conditions under the Act.
The donor was his near relative as stipulated under the law. It had been approved and coordinated by the transplant coordinator.
By a letter dated April 18, the DME cancelled the transplant proposal on the ground that the affidavits filed by the petitioner were not in the native language, Konkani, and the relationship certificate should be produced.
That apart, the Goa State Authorisation Committee for organ transplantation had given the NOC. The DNA report of March this year showed that the donor was the petitioner’s son.
The petitioner said the reasons assigned in the rejection letter were against the law. Hence, the present petition.
Senior counsel V.Prakash submitted that the relationship certificate was available with the DME. With regard to the requirement of original affidavits in the mother tongue of the patient and donor, duly signed in the presence of a magistrate, along with two witness signatures, counsel submitted that there was no script for Konkani. Hence, the petitioner could not furnish the affidavits in the mother tongue. (The affidavits are in English.)
Mr. Justice Venugopal said, on a careful examination of the entire gamut of the subject matter, he was of the opinion that the relationship certificate was well within the purview of the law.
As a logical corollary there was no need for the DME to refuse approval. He directed the authorities here to give approval for the transplantation in the hospital in terms of the approval granted by the Goa State Authorisation Committee, within two weeks.