Delhi HC asks appropriate authority to reconsider decision not to allow 17-year-old to donate part of liver for father

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday directed the appropriate authority to reconsider the petitioner’s representation within 2 days, in a plea seeking the setting aside of the order dated August 28, 2021, passed by the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) and Authorization Committee as per Section 13(1) of Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act 1994, whereby, the petitioner had been prohibited to donate a part of his liver, to his ailing father.

A single-judge bench of Justice Rekha Palli further directed ILBS to submit all the medical records of the petitioner, before the appellate authority and granted liberty to the petitioner to approach the registrar for listing of the matter between October 16-19, due to the urgent nature of the relief sought.

Advocate Naushad Ahmed Khan, appearing on behalf of the Delhi government, opposed the petitioner, stating it is a 13-hour-long procedure and the Government was more concerned about the health of the minor, rather than his father who had damaged his liver due to habitual drinking of alcohol.

Advocate Sidharth Panda, appearing for the petitioner, stated that the petitioner’s father was at an advance stage and there was no certainty if the operation would be successful. He added certain tests need further time for the result and hence sought adjournment.

Yesterday, the court directed the ILBS to examine the petitioner and furnish a report with the parameters mentioned in the July 28 report.

According to the petition, 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 the petitioner’s family have 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 petitioner could donate a part of his liver to his father and hence, on August 27, 2021, the petitioner 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 petition was filed and argued by Advocate Prasoon Kumar and has been listed for further arguments on October 21.
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