Minor’s organ donation plea: Bombay HC not inclined to pass order out of concern for girl

Urvi Mahajani | Updated on: Saturday, May 14, 2022, 08:25 AM IST

Can’t reopen assessment merely on basis of change of opinion: Bombay HC | Photo: Representative Image
Can’t reopen assessment merely on basis of change of opinion: Bombay HC | Photo: Representative Image

The Bombay High Court on Friday expressed that it was “concerned for the minor and was not inclined to pass order” permitting her to donate part of her liver to her ailing father.

A vacation bench of justices AK Menon and NR Borkar while refusing to grant any relief said: “We are concerned about the minor and not inclined to grant the prayer.”

The HC was hearing a petition filed a minor girl, through her mother, seeking permission to donate a part of her liver to her ailing father who has been diagnosed with decompensated liver cirrhosis and asked by doctors to undergo urgent liver transplant.

The girl had amended her petition after the state authorization committee headed by director Directorate Medical Education and Research (DMER) rejected her application on Tuesday saying: “The committee cannot rule out the existence of emotional pressure and cannot confirm that the consent given by the minor daughter is out of free will.”

not inclined to pass an order The report had even mentioned that the “The donor and her mother seem unaware of the risks and complications of the surgery to the donor and recipient.”

Tapan Thatte, the girl’s advocate, argued thatthe liver can be regenerated. However, justice Menon remarked that the minor girl’s life could not be put in danger. “You can’t endanger her. Her father’s problem is self-imposed,” said justice Menon.

The judge’s remark came as the committee, comprising eight doctors,had mentioned in its reportthat “the recipientis a chronic alcoholic which is likely cause of hepatic failure and has been drinking alcohol till recently and there is no documentation of rehabilitation”.

The girl, the only child, was conceived after six years of infertility treatment. When Thatte sought to argue, the judges said that they were not inclined to pass any favourable order and kept the petition for hearing in June. Thatte pointed out to the court that there is a provision to appeal against the order of the DMER.

To which the judges said that he was free to file the appeal. The advocate requested the courtto allow transplantin case they find an “unrelated donor”. The judges asked whether the court can pass such an order. The girl had approached the HC stating that the hospital authorisation committee was not accepting her application for organ donation. Following HC order, the hospital committee accepted her form but rejected her request citing that she was a minor and the law does not permit organ donation by a minor.

The HC, on May 6, had then asked the state authorisation committee to decide on her application independently. The committee rejected her application on May.

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Published on: Saturday, May 14, 2022, 08:25 AM IST