Hurdles in organ retrieval from dead
Expressing concern over the inability to transfer organs of cadaver donors, the Bombay High Court recently directed the Maharashtra government to come up with guidelines to save lives.
A Division Bench of Justice Anoop Mohta and Justice Bharati Dangre was hearing a plea filed by Swapnil Raut, 43, who needs an organ transplant.
Mr. Raut sought an authoritative pronouncement from the court to retrieve organs and tissues from the body of Mahesh Mehta, 71, a cadaver donor whose body was with the Dr L.H. Hiranandani Hospital, Powai.
The cadaver donor was certified by medical practitioners as brain-stem dead and his family had consented to donate organs and tissues for therapeutic use.
However, because the hospital’s licence had been suspended, hospital authorities did not permit the retrieval of organs and tissues, and family members did not wish to go through the ordeal of shifting the body to another hospital.
Through advocate Ashish Mehta, Mr. Raut informed the court that on August 8, the CEO of the hospital had written to the Secretary (Health & Family Welfare) and to the Director of Health Services (DoHS), but retrieval of the organs was not permitted.
The court recorded, “The donor has revived the cause and compelled us to direct all concerned parties to file affidavits keeping in mind this example of how it is important to have a mechanism, machinery, equipment, ambulance or vehicle with a team of doctors, to deal with and handle such an emergency situation...It appears that no guidelines or mechanism are available.”