Donation of minor’s organ permissible in exceptional circumstances: HC

A view of the Delhi High Court.

A view of the Delhi High Court.

The Delhi High Court has reiterated that there is no “complete prohibition” on a minor donating an organ or tissue prior to attaining majority.

Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva also clarified that such “donation is permissible but in exceptional circumstances and in accordance with the rules”.

The court’s observation came while hearing, through videoconferencing, the urgent plea of a 17-year-old girl, seeking court’s permission to donate part of her liver to her father, who is suffering from advance stage of liver failure due to a disease known as Cirrhosis of Liver.

To ascertain the potential required for the procedure, Justice Sachdeva ordered the Director of Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket, to immediately constitute a committee of two senior doctors preferably, one of whom is an expert in Liver Transplant and Biliary Sciences.

The girl, in her plea, stated that her father was presently undergoing treatment at Pushpawati Singhania Hospital & Research Institute (PSRI Hospital), here.

The counsel, representing the girl, argued that under the Transplantation of Human Organs & Tissues Act 1994, there was a complete embargo on a minor donating an organ or tissue before death. However, by an amendment in 2011, an exception has been carved out to permit a minor to donate organ or tissue before death, within certain defined parameters.

The plea also stated that her mother is not a suitable donor. It also said she is the eldest child and a suitable donor as the blood group of the father is same as hers.

The petition also contended that in view of a shutdown of non-essential services in the country to contain the spread of COVID-19, there is also no possibility of finding a donor in the near future and the father requires immediate surgery.

Taking note of the submissions, the High Court asked the medical board to decide over the risk involved in the procedure that the girl would need to undergo before next date of hearing on April 3.

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Printable version | Aug 6, 2022 2:40:20 am |