AFTER rejecting a request for an inter-state kidney transplant, the Maharashtra state organ transplant committee will now write to its Gujarat counterpart to inquire into documents scrutinised by the latter while issuing a no-objection certificate authenticating the relationship between a prospective donor and patient. The case pertains to a Gujarat-based donor and a Nerul-based patient employed with a telecom company.
The case was rejected by the Maharashtra committee on March 9 after officials suspected that the prospective donor and recipient were not related to each other. The recipient was detected with end-stage kidney disease in September 2017. The committee observed that the versions of the donor, recipient and the donor’s wife did not match. In addition, the committee in its report said the recipient’s sister and two sons did not attend a meeting for questioning. The prospective recipient, in his documents, claimed that the donor is his sister’s son. “There are no photos to establish the relationship between the donor and the recipient as nephew and uncle. The recipient did not even attend the donor’s wedding. When we asked why his sister did not come, he said she can’t walk properly,” an official said. The committee rejected the application on grounds of disparity in the versions of the prospective donor and recipient.
The prospective donor works as a security guard in Gujarat while the patient is a senior executive with a telecom agency, posted in Navi Mumbai. “We are also going to approach the local tehsildar in Gujarat who attested to the residency of the donor and his occupation,” a state government official said.
On March 12, state organ transplant committee received an anonymous e-mail claiming that the patient had paid Rs 15 lakh to the prospective donor, in addition to offering a job to the latter’s son. According to Dr Gauri Rathod, the state transplant coordinator, four cases of unrelated organ transplants have been rejected by the committee over the last year in Maharashtra. The procedure has become tightly controlled since an alleged racket was unearthed at the Dr L H Hiranandani Hospital in Powai in July 2016. The licence for the hospital to conduct organ transplant remains suspended.
According to documents with the Directorate of Health Services, Jaslok hospital referred the latest case for approval as the prospective donor and recipient were not directly related. Organ transplants are approved by a hospital authorisation committee if the donor and recipient are closely related, such as in cases of father and son or siblings. In cases where extended family members or unrelated people want to undergo an organ transplant, an additional approval from the state government is mandatory. Following the rejection, the Navi Mumbai patient has not appealed to the state.