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'Vague Answers': Delhi High Court Directs Personal Appearance Of Medical Superintendent In Minor's Plea For Donating Liver To Ailing Father

Nupur Thapliyal
25 Oct 2021 8:13 AM GMT
Vague Answers: Delhi High Court Directs Personal Appearance Of Medical Superintendent In Minors Plea For Donating Liver To Ailing Father
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The Delhi High Court on Monday directed personal appearance of Medical Superintendent of Institute of Liver & Biliary Sciences (ILBS) through video conferencing tomorrow in the plea filed by 17 year old minor, seeking directions to permit him to donate part of his liver to his ailing father, who is suffering from advance stage of Liver Failure.Justice Rekha Palli passed the order...

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The Delhi High Court on Monday directed personal appearance of Medical Superintendent of Institute of Liver & Biliary Sciences (ILBS) through video conferencing tomorrow in the plea filed by 17 year old minor, seeking directions to permit him to donate part of his liver to his ailing father, who is suffering from advance stage of Liver Failure.

Justice Rekha Palli passed the order after observing that the counsel appearing for ILBS was not in a position to inform details of the tests required to be conducted on the minor petitioner.

"You can't just give me vague answers. This cannot go on like this. This is the story you have been telling me since the last two dates," the Court orally remarked.

During the course of hearing, Advocate Siddharth Panda appearing for ILBS submitted that the BMI level of the minor was lower than the required level and that he has already undergone some tests as suggested by the doctor.

However, expressing dissatisfaction over the stand, Justice Palli ordered thus:

"It appears that the respondent no 2 has not furnished reports of the medical tests conducted on the petitioner on the plea that more time is being taken for furnishing the same. I am unable to appreciate the stand as the direction was passed on October 12. Today the respondent no 2 is not in a position to tell as to what tests are still required to be done."

While directing the personal appearance of Medical Superintendent, the Court also directed the ILBS to send a copy to the Court of the tests conducted on the petitioner till now and also to clearly indicate specific tests of which the reports are still awaited.

Earlier, the Court had orally observed that merely because a person is a minor does not mean (s)he is ineligible to donate her/his organ under the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act 1994.

"What kind of order have you passed? Why should you want a man to die? At least apply your mind. Reject his application if he's not eligible. Just because he's a minor cannot be the ground. There is no absolute bar in the statute," Justice Palli had earlier remarked.

In the petition, it had been averred that both the petitioner's mother and elder brother had been denied permission to donate their organs on medical grounds. Further, permission was denied to the petitioner to donate a part of his Liver on account of him being of minor.

The plea, moved through Advocate Prasoon Kumar, arose out of the order passed by Deputy Head of Operations, ILBS and the competent authority, dated 28th August, 2021, refusing permission to the Petitioner to donate a part of his liver to his father.

"That as per the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act 1994 hereinafter called as 1994 Act, there is no complete prohibition for a minor to donate a human organ or tissue by a minor and a minor is also permitted to donate organ and tissue in a manner as may be prescribed by the government. Rule 5(3) (g) of Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Rules 2014, living organ or tissue, donation by minor is not permitted except under medical grounds to be recommended in detail with justification and prior approval of competent authority," the plea read.

It was therefore the petitioner's case that the impugned order passed by the authority shows non-application of mind on their part. 

Case Title: Saurav Suman through his mother v. GNCTD & Anr.

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