SC defers hearing on plea seeking nod for liver donation to 3-yr-old to Nov 7

The Supreme Court on Thursday deferred the hearing on a plea seeking its approval for liver donation by a person to a three-year-old cousin suffering from chronic liver disease.

A bench comprising justices A S Bopanna and P S Narasimha had on Wednesday taken up the plea for urgent hearing and directed that an application before the authorisation committee be filed during the day itself.

The Authorization Committee functions under the Transplantation of Human Organs Acts and the Rules and authorises the transplant of organ if the donor and the recipient comply with the statutory requirements.

The top court adjourned the hearing to Tuesday after it was told that the formalities before the authorisation committee have not been completed yet.

The petition was listed before the bench after Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud took note of the urgency. Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati was asked to assist the bench on behalf of the Centre.

“While taking note of the prayer made in the instant petition, at the outset, we note that the petitioners or any other relative of petitioner no.1 has not filed an application before the Authorization Committee which is to function in terms of Rule 7 of the Transplantation of Human Organs Acts and Rules, 2014.

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“Unless such consideration, at the outset, is made by the Committee, this Court would not be in a position to proceed further. In that view of the matter, we permit the petitioners or any other authorised person on behalf of the petitioners to file necessary application along with the relevant enclosures with the Authorisation committee today i.e. 01st November, 2023 by 04:00 pm,” the bench had ordered on Wednesday.

Under section 9 of the the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act, only a “near relative” of the recipient can donate organs.

Under the law, the term — “near relative” includes “spouse, son, daughter, father, mother, brother, sister, grandfather, grandmother, grandson or granddaughter”. A cousin is not included in the definition of “near relative”.

The child, who is suffering from liver failure, needs to undergo a transplant to save his life. After the parents of the child were declared unfit for donation, the cousin volunteered but section 9 of the law is coming in the way.

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