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'There is no criminal kidney': Organ donation can't be refused over donor’s antecedents, says HC

Justice PV Kunhi Krishnan issued the order on the petition filed by Radhakrishna Pillai of Nedumbana in Kollam, a kidney patient, challenging the order of the committee

Published: 31st August 2021 07:56 PM  |   Last Updated: 31st August 2021 07:56 PM   |  A+A-

Image used for representational purpose for organ donation.

Image used for representational purposes

By Express News Service

KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Tuesday quashed an order issued by the Ernakulam District Level Authorisation Committee for Transplantation of Human Organs, rejecting a plea for organ transplantation citing the reason that "the donor is involved in multiple criminal cases."

"There is no organ in the human body like a criminal kidney or criminal liver or criminal heart! There is no difference between the organ of a person without criminal antecedents and the organ of a person who has criminal antecedents. Human blood is passing through all of us," observed Justice PV Kunhikrishnan.

The court also cited a situation from the "thottam pattu' of 'Pottan theyyam," a traditional art form of north Malabar. "The situation is that a person belonging to a lower caste says to an upper caste person, 'If I cut my body, human blood will come and if your body (the upper caste person) is cut, the same human blood will come.' Then the lower caste person asks the upper caste person that since human blood passing through the body is similar, why is there caste discrimination? These are the words written centuries back. Where are we now? Let the people know about the myths and stories of "Pottan Theyyam" of North Malabar," said the court.

Justice PV Kunhi Krishnan issued the order on the petition filed by Radhakrishna Pillai of Nedumbana in Kollam, a kidney patient, challenging the order of the committee. The committee rejected his application for kidney transplantation stating that "the donor is involved in multiple criminal offences." He submitted that there was no prohibition for accepting the organ of a person, who is involved in criminal offences.

The court said that no provisions in the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act, 1994 and The Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Rules, 2014 support the stand of the committee. The intention of the act and rule is only to prevent commercial dealings in human organs and tissues.

"I apprehend that the committee will reject such applications for permission to donate organs even on the ground that the donor is a murderer, thief, rapist, or involved in minor criminal offences. I hope they will not reject the applications because the donor is a Hindu, Christian, Muslim, Sikh, or person in a lower caste after comparing with the religion and caste of the recipient," observed the court.

"What sort of reasoning is this? No person with common sense can agree with the same. These are flimsy reasons. A man is on a death bed and his friend is coming forward to donate his organ. The competent authority is rejecting the application observing that the donor is involved in criminal cases when there is no such prohibition as per the Act 1994," observed the court and directed the committee to reconsider the petitioner's plea within one week.



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