KOCHI: It’s been two years of deafening silence since Express outed a police probe into an organ trade racket that harvested vital organs from a 23-year-old accident victim in Kochi. First came the reprieve for the alleged accused. Then came the twist. The reprieve, it seems, was built on falsehood.
It is now emerging that despite a senior doctor revealing in September 2017 that her name and signature were forged by a medical board to give clean chit to the doctors accused of organ harvesting, the state health department and the apex medical board continue to pass the buck.
Speaking to Express, Director General of Prosecution Manjeri Sreedharan Nair, who heads the apex board, said the Health Department has not yet placed the case before the board. “We have not received any such case so far,” he said.
This came close on the heels of Health Secretary Rajeev Sadanandan responding to this reporter that the apex medical board under Director General of Prosecutions looked into such cases. On being asked about this specific case, he said, “We cannot comment about one specific case.”
I have not attended a single board meeting: Doctor
It was in 2014 that the medical board, which did not have a single neuro-surgeon, submitted a report absolving the doctors. It is about this report that Dr P Rema, senior professor of forensic medicine with Thiruvananthapuram government medical college, made a disclosure on September 15, 2017 to the police that she had never attended the medical board which met under the then Ernakulam District Medical Officer (DMO) Haseena Mohammed between 2012 and 2014.
“It is evident that the signature shown above my name is not my signature. I have not attended a single board meeting during the tenure of DMO Haseena Mohammed in Ernakulam,” Dr Rema has said in her statement.
The police trashed the medical board report following Dr Rema’s revelation and forwarded the matter to Apex Board Committee for perusal. But the file has been on hold for the last one year. As per records, police have been writing to state health department since November 4, 2017 about the need for the apex board to look into the matter ‘urgently’. But these missives have been met with stony silence.
The police findings said the doctors and the hospitals flouted the Human Organ Transplantation Act as the liver was given to a Malaysian citizen for crores of rupees.
Abhin V J of Vazhaparambil House, Muvattupuzha, was denied treatment by two private hospitals for a head injury he suffered in a bike accident on December 2, 2009. After he was declared braindead, his liver and two kidneys were harvested by a private hospital. The fraud came to light when the police surgeon, during autopsy, found that doctors had failed to treat a blood clot inside his head, leading to his death. The cops started cracking after Express, on July 1, 2016, came out with the report, “Patient: Mr X. Status: ‘Braindead’; Where are his vital organs, doctor?”. Post this report, the police probed into the case which got buried under the carpet in 2011, a good two years after Abhin died.