Organ donation row: Court accepts on file case against doctors of 2 hospitals

The brain death was declared by doctors who are not authorised for the purpose.
Image for representational purpose only. (Express Illustrations)
Image for representational purpose only. (Express Illustrations)

KOCHI: Ernakulam Judicial First Class Magistrate has decided to accept on file a case against doctors of Lakeshore Hospital, Kochi, and Mar Baselios Hospital, Kothamangalam, in connection with the organ donation of a youth who was declared brain dead following a motorcycle accident on November 2009. 

Following the complaint by Dr S Ganapathy, of Maruthadi, Kollam, the court decided to pursue the death and organ transplantation performed on Abin V J as a case fit to be probed. The accused in the case are Lakeshore Hospital and Research Centre presently known as VPS Lakeshore Hospital, doctors with the hospital- Dr Philip Augustine, Dr S Mahesh, Dr George Jacob Eraly, Dr Sai Sudarsan, Dr Thomas Thachil, Dr Murali Krishna Menon, and Dr Sujith Vasudevan, and Dr Sajeev S of Mar Beselios Hospital. 

Abin was admitted to Baselios Hospital after suffering a head injury in a bike accident on November 29, 2009. He was shifted to Lakeshore Hospital on December 1, 2009, where he was declared brain dead. His relatives were induced to donate the vital organs of Abin. Later his organs were transplanted to a foreign national. Later Dr Ganapathy came to know about the flaws on the part of the hospital and doctors and he suspected a conspiracy by denying proper treatment and hastily declaring Abin as brain dead.

The brain death was declared by doctors who are not authorised for the purpose. Similarly, the complaint alleged that no Apnoea Test was carried out to confirm brain death. The major lapse from both hospitals is that evacuation of blood from the cranial cavity was not carried out on Abin. The complainant alleged violation of the Transplantation of Human Organs (TOHO) Act and filed a complaint with the authorities concerned which failed to act. In 2020 he approached the court with a complaint in this regard. 

The court perusing the records and consulting police surgeons and neurologists, found that significant blood accumulation at the cranial cavity was ascertained when Abin was admitted to the hospital. No evacuation procedure was performed to save his life. After being admitted to the hospital, an HIV test was conducted though there were no plans for neurosurgery. Even before he was declared brain dead, doctors for organ transplantation visited him and a liver function test was conducted.

The court also found that procedures stated in TOHO Act were not adopted in Abin’s case. The liver was transplanted to a Malaysian national without obtaining sanction from internal authorisation committee. In the Malaysian Embassy certificate, wife of the recipient was shown as donor while organ was transplanted from Abin. During the organ harvesting, thoracic chamber opened (sternotomy) and the heart was mutilated. The court has ordered to issue summons to the accused persons to hear them as part of the probe. 

VPS Lakeshore Hospital has clarified that what the court has ordered is an investigation to verify the truth of the complaint filed by a private person regarding brain death. Managing Director S K Abdullah said the hospital would co-operate fully with the investigation. Regarding the incident mentioned in the complaint, he said that there was no lapse on the part of the hospital. The managing director said that they are taking necessary legal actions to convince the court of hospital’s innocence.

Related Stories

No stories found.

The New Indian Express