Delhi High Court asks ILBS if 17-year-old fit to donate part of liver to ailing father

The Delhi High Court has granted time to the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) to obtain instruction on whether the appropriate authority needs further permission from Government of NCT of Delhi on a plea filed by a 17-year-old boy seeking permission to donate a part of his liver to his ailing father (Saurav Suman through his mother Mrs. Baby Devi v Government of NCT of Delhi)

The plea was filed by a minor seeking a direction to set aside the order dated August 28, 2021 passed by ILBS and Authorization Committee as per Section 13(1) of Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act 1994, whereby, the petitioner was prohibited to donate a part of his liver to his ailing father. 

A Single-Judge Bench of Justice Rekha Palli was cognizant of the urgency in the matter and reiterated her prima-facie opinion from the last date of hearing stating that being minor could not be the only reason for refusal of application, when the petitioner is 17 years 9 months old, the Authorization Committee should have recorded if the petitioner is fit or not.

Senior Advocate Sanjay Poddar, appearing on behalf of ILBS, submitted the petitioners have approached the court, without exercising their statutory right for appeal, envisaged in Section 19 of Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act 1994 and sought time to take instructions.

Authorization Committee rejected application saying petitioner was minor

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

The petition says several family members of the petitioner 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 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. The matter has been listed next on September 27. 
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