NEW DELHI: The government today told the Delhi High Court that a person who has no family donor cannot be permitted to issue an advertisement to get a volunteer for a kidney transplant.
"Advertisements cannot be permitted," the Health Ministry told Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva who had sought the views of the government on various aspects of kidney transplantation raised by a patient. The issue was raised by the patient who had said that in cases of celebrities, media attention made it easy for them to get volunteer donors, but common citizens do not have a right to avail the benefit of advertisements.
Central government standing counsel Rajesh Gogna, who appeared for the ministry, submitted that the petitioner could register his name with the National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO) so that his case could be taken up in the 'most urgent' category. The court had sought NOTTO's response as the patient had prayed for its scrapping.
NOTTO, is the apex centre for registry, procurement and distribution of organs and tissues and maintains a record of donations and transplantations. The patient, Vinod Kumar Anand, who had narrated his ordeal of 15 years, said he should be permitted to advertise as due to some religious obligation he cannot take kidney from NOTTO.
This prompted the judge to ask the patient, "do you have time to dictate terms? Why don't you register yourself so that you get the treatment on time," the judge said and asked him to "pray to god who will come and rescue him".
"This court will not go into religious beliefs. God has not made religion, we have," the judge said. The ministry said for allowing patients to advertise for donors an amendement, has to be made in law. The court fixed the matter for March 30.
The patient, who is also a lawyer, lost both his kidneys due to renal problems. In 2013, his wife donated one kidney to him, but some months later he suffered acute graft dysfunction and cellular rejection which caused urinary tract infection.
According to the plea, Anand suffered acute graft dysfunction several times and finally in January 2016 the kidney which was donated also became non-functional and he had to depend on hemodialysis thrice a week for survival.
He has claimed that his efforts to find a volunteer donor did not yield result and sought directions to the government to amend the Transplant of Human Organs and Tissues Act 1994 to allow advertisements to find volunteer donors.