Breaking News Delhi HC allows minor to donate part of his...

Delhi HC allows minor to donate part of his liver to the ailing father on grounds of grave medical emergency

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New Delhi, Sept 27 (ILNS) The Delhi High today set aside the order passed by Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) which held that a minor cannot donate part of his liver, to the ailing father, and allowed the boy to go ahead with the donation, saying that it is a grave medical emergency and exceptional circumstances prevail.

A Single-Judge Bench of Justice Rekha Palli, to expedite the application, directed the Secretary, Health & Family Welfare to consider the application within 2 days, keeping in view the grave medical emergency faced by the petitioner’s father and the fact that the petitioner is about to be 18 years of age within 2 months. The High Court, instead of referring the petitioner’s application to the Board of Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS), straightaway directed the Health Secretary to avoid any delay.

The Court came to this conclusion on the basis of Rule 5 (3) (g) of Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Rules, 2014 which says “Living organ or tissue donation by minors shall not be permitted except on exceptional medical grounds to be recorded in detail with full justification and with prior approval of the Appropriate Authority and the State Government concerned.”

The Court held there was a clear case of exceptional medical circumstance, as the petitioner’s father needed liver transplant urgently and alternate donation was not possible.

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

The petition avers, several family members of his family had 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 son (petitioner) could donate a part of his liver to his father and hence, on August 27, 2021, he 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 Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) and Authorization Committee had on August 28, 2021 passed an order that as per Section 13(1) of Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act 1994, the petitioner who is a minor is prohibited to donate a part of his liver, to his ailing father.

The petition was filed and argued by Advocate Prasoon Kumar./ILNS/KR/SNG

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