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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Minor, months shy of 18, wants to donate part of liver to ailing father; HC directs Delhi govt to consider request

The minor’s father is suffering from an advanced stage of liver failure and doctors have recommended immediate liver transplantation.The class 12 student will turn 18 on December 9.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: September 29, 2021 1:24:03 am
The court also directed the hospital to forward all the medical records of the minor and his father to the government.

Observing that a minor can donate organs in exceptional medical circumstances, the Delhi High Court has directed Delhi’s health secretary to consider the request of a class 12 student, who will turn 18 on December 9, for donating a part of his liver to his ailing father. Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) had earlier refused to grant permission to the boy who is now 17 years and nine months old.

There is a grave medical emergency in the present case and the petitioner is about to turn 18 in two months, noted Justice Rekha Palli in the order on Monday, while directing the healthy secretary, who is final authority under the law in such cases, to decide within two days.

The minor’s father is suffering from an advanced stage of liver failure and doctors have recommended immediate liver transplantation. However, the doctors have already rejected the offers made by two other members of the minor’s family for donation on medical grounds, as per the petition. Left with no other option, the minor himself had applied for the donation but the authorisation committee denied him the permission considering his age.

Setting aside the order passed by the hospital, the court said that it was incumbent upon the ILBS to consider whether the minor had made out a case for a grant for approval on exceptional medical grounds. The court also said that the hospital ought to have also considered the effect of the medical fitness certificate issued in favour of him by its doctors in August 2021, clearly stating that he was in a proper state of health and medically fit for the procedure.

The court also directed the hospital to forward all the medical records of the minor and his father to the government.

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