Kerala HC Dismisses Lawyer's Plea To Ban Organ Donation Even As A Life Saving Exercise [Read Order]

Kerala HC Dismisses Lawyers Plea To Ban Organ Donation Even As A Life Saving Exercise [Read Order]

“The petitioner could not refer to any provisions of law, which prohibits as opposed regulate, the transplantation of human organs to save the life of another or to provide a working organ for dysfunctional one.”

The Kerala High Court has dismissed a Public Interest Litigation filed by a lawyer seeking prohibition of donation of organs such as liver, kidneys, heart etc., even as a life saving exercise.

Before the bench of Chief Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice AK Jayasankaran Nambiar, Advocate VN Mohan Raj, who appeared in person, urged that harvesting of human organs from a brain-dead person should be banned in India.

According to the lawyer, a brain-dead person should be construed to be alive since his vital organs remain functional for some time and therefore the harvesting of organs at that stage would tantamount to causing grievous hurt to the brain-dead person. He contended that such harvesting of organs is prohibited by the Indian Penal Code

With regard to his submission that harvesting of organs is prohibited by the Indian Penal Code, the bench asked him to point out specific provision in the I.P.C., which bans on extraction of organs from a brain-dead person, to save the life of another person.

As he could not point out any such provision, the bench dismissed the PIL and observed: "Moreover, there is no material to suggest that he is acting in public interest and therefore the concern raised by the petitioner has to be considered as one stemming from his personal belief. That apart, the petitioner could not refer to any provisions of law, which prohibits as opposed regulate, the transplantation of human organs to save the life of another or to provide a working organ for dysfunctional one."

Organ Donation Laws In India

Organ Donation is not prohibited by any law in India, rather there are laws which regulate the procedure for donation and transplantation of organs.

The Transplantation of [Human Organs and Tissues] Act, was enacted in 1994 to regulate removal, storage and transplantation of [human organs and tissues for therapeutic purposes and for the prevention of commercial dealings in human organs and tissues]. The Act, in fact, provides a saving clause which states that neither the grant of any facility or authority for the removal of any [human organ or tissue or both] from the body of a deceased person in accordance with the provisions of this Act nor the removal of any [human organ or tissue or both] from the body of a deceased person in pursuance of such authority shall be deemed to be an offence punishable under section 297 of the Indian Penal Code. The Central Government has also framed Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Rules, 2014.

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