CHENNAI: Ruing the lack of awareness among physicians and health department officials on the relevant Act and rules governing organ donation and transplant between non-relatives, the Madras High Court said the refusal by hospitals to perform transplants among unrelated donors would be ‘plainly illegal’.
The observation was made by Justice N Seshasayee while ordering the transplant authorisation committee to consider the application of an ailing doctor from Coimbatore, Khaja Moinudeen, for permission to undergo a kidney transplant after he found a non-relative donor.
Since the hospitals in the state refused to do the surgery, he approached Lakeshore Hospital in Kerala, which agreed to do it. However, the TN Authorisation Committee did not issue an NOC, resulting in the hospital refusing to go ahead.
Stating that the apprehensions and reluctance of the hospitals to perform organ transplantation between non-relatives is “more due to inadequate awareness on the law”, he stressed for a drive of proper legal education on the matter for the physicians and hospitals by the state government.
Referring to the prayer for ordering the authorities to issue the NOC, the judge ordered the petitioner and the donor to appear before the authorisation committee within a week, and directed Coimbatore South Tahsildar to hold an inquiry on the genuinity of donor and submit report within another week.
The authorisation committee shall proceed to examine the application as per the rules and pass orders either approving or rejecting the application within four weeks from receiving the report of the Tahsildar, he directed.