Kochi: The Kerala High Court has held that the voluntary donation of an organ by a person is a sacrifice of the highest order and it is inhuman to hold that such sacrifices would be made by people only based on monetary considerations. The court issued the order on a petition filed by M.T.P. Shihabudheen, Thankayam, Kasargod, and P.K. Biju, Puthuppally, Kottayam, challenging the decision of the authorisation committee declining approval for the removal of the organ of the latter.
According to the court, it was common knowledge that a large number of patients need donors for organ transplantation to save their lives and only a very few are fortunate to find matching donors from among their near relatives. The question whether the consent given by a person to donate his organ to another is by reason of his affection towards him can be determined only from the surrounding circumstances as the affection of one person towards another is a state of mind. The statute does not prohibit transplantation. It only regulates transplantation with a view to avoiding exploitation in the dealings of organs for financial benefits
As such, if circumstances indicate a possible relationship for one person to donate his organ to save the life of another, the approval sought has to be granted, said the court. Shihabudheen is suffering from chronic renal failure and is undergoing dialysis. The doctors have also suggested kidney transplantation. The petition stated that Biju, who was an employee of Shihabudheen in his fruit stall, had offered to donate one of his kidneys. But the authorisation committee under the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act declined approval for the removal of the organ.
The court quashed the orders of the committee and directed it to pass orders approving the transplantation requested for by the petitioners. The committee had declined the approval stating that there was a gross disparity in the financial status of the donor and the recipient and that the donor and the recipient's brother could not explain satisfactorily the link between them which led to the offer being made. The court said that even assuming that there was a disparity in the financial status of the parties, the same by itself is not a ground to decline the approval for transplantation.