HC asks Delhi govt, MAMC to respond to doctor’s plea on removal of human organs during autopsy

The Delhi High Court Monday sought the response of the Delhi government and Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC) on a plea by a doctor seeking inquiry into the alleged illegal removal of human organs, including skull and tissues, from the bodies received at the hospital’s mortuary for post mortem examination.

Justice Subramonium Prasad asked the Delhi government and MAMC to file their replies on the prayers made in the petition and listed the matter for further hearing on January 15 next year.

Petitioner Dr Upender Kishore, a former Professor and Head of the Department of Forensic Medicine at MAMC, said removal of any organ, including bones, or tissues from the body is “illegal, unethical and affront to the dignity of the dead”, and just because an autopsy doctor thinks that a particular organ or tissue may be helpful in academics’ does not mean he can remove it.

He said the doctor performing autopsy is neither the custodian of the body nor is the body his personal property, and it is a human being, albeit dead, who has its own rights and dignity.

Kishore, who has been transferred to Dr. Baba Saheb Ambedkar Medical College and Hospital, sought an inquiry by an independent committee, headed by a former judge of the high court or district court, into the alleged illegal removal of human organs and tissues from the bodies received for medicolegal autopsy, in contravention of the provisions of the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act.

The petitioner alleged several doctors of MAMC were involved in these acts and since he raised his voice against it, he has been harassed and criminal cases are being registered against him and that now he has been transferred.

He said those allegedly involved in it are not denying removal of organs but they claim it is being done for academic purposes.

“Since I have spoken against the illegal activities at MAMC, a medical college under GNCTD (respondent 7), and since I am also presently an employee of GNCTD; I have reasonable apprehension that I would be victimised.

“Therefore, in the interest of justice, I be surrendered back to my parent cadre, that is, Central Health Services (CHS), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India,” the plea said.

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The petition sought direction to the appropriate authority under Section 22 of the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act, to file a complaint before the jurisdictional magistrate against those responsible for alleged illegal removal of human organs and tissues from the bodies.

“It may be noted that in black market, the present price of a complete human skeleton is around Rs 8-10 lakhs, of a skull is around Rs 2-3 lakhs, of a slide box is around Rs 5 lakhs, and so on,” it claimed.

The petition said the proposition of academic’ purpose is very dangerous and integrity of no doctor would be safe and mankind would become a puppet in the hands of doctors and surgeons, if such a proposition is allowed under the law.

The petitioner said despite his repeated complaints since 2019 about the illegal and unethical practice, MAMC has not made much progress in the matter and he suspected that the authorities may bury it.

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