The Delhi High Court has allowed a minor girl to donate a part of her liver to her ailing father, who is at the end stage of liver disease, and directed the authorities concerned to frame guidelines to be followed about permission for tissue donation by minors within two months.
The high court said the existing rules under the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Rules say on exceptional medical grounds, which are to be recorded in detail with full justification and with prior approval of the appropriate authority, a minor can be permitted to donate live tissues and organs.
However, those exceptional medical grounds have not been explained, and this can lead to arbitrariness in the matter of grant of permission for such donations, it said.
“Guidelines have to be laid down indicating the nature of exceptional medical grounds which can be adopted throughout the country by the appropriate authority and the state governments. Respondent no. 1 (Centre) is directed to frame the guidelines under Rule 5(3)(g) of the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Rules, 2014 for the guidance of the appropriate authority and the state governments while considering an application regarding permitting tissue donations by minors.
“The guidelines be framed within a period of two months from today,” Justice Subramonium Prasad said in an order passed on Wednesday and made available on Thursday.
Rule 5(3)(g) states that living organ or tissue donation by minors shall not be permitted except on exceptional medical grounds to be recorded in detail with full justification and with prior approval of the appropriate authority and the state government concerned.
The high court passed the order while allowing a 17 plus girl to donate a part of her liver to her father who has been diagnosed with prolonged liver disease, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis- cirrhosis (NASH), end stage liver disease which requires urgent liver transplant.
Initially, the man gave a representation to the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) here seeking permission for liver transplantation of a part of his daughter’s liver but the authorities did not respond. Since no response came, the petitioner approached the high court with the prayer.
The Delhi government stated in its affidavit that since there were no exceptional medical circumstances wherein the case could be considered for urgent liver transplantation with a part of the minor’s organ, approval was denied.
The court said the Delhi government has not given a satisfactory reply in the affidavit.
The court perused the report given by a medical board of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi stating that the girl was physically fit to donate a portion of her liver to her father and that quality of her life will not diminish as a consequence.
” considering the fact that her father requires an urgent liver transplant as he is in the end stage liver disease, NASH, this court is inclined to permit petitioner no.1 to donate a part of her liver to her father,” Justice Prasad ordered.
The court made it clear that it was passing the order only because the girl’s father was at the end stage liver disease.
“The petitioner no.1 is 17 years 4 months and 21 days and the medical board, AIIMS has categorically stated that she is in a physical condition to donate a part of her liver and that her future will not be jeopardised and risk involved in the case is the risk that is involved ordinarily to any donor,” it said.
It directed the girl to undergo the procedure in a specialised centre like the AIIMS, Delhi so she is safe.