Kerala High Court Ruled That Donor's Criminal History Is Irrelevant For Organ Donation

Organ Donation (Representational Image)
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Organ Donation (Representational Image)

Highlights

  • The Kerala High Court has reaffirmed that a donor's criminal history is not an aspect to be taken by the authorisation committee for human organ transplantation.
  • The Petitioner argued that such an order would be untenable because there is no legal bar against criminals donating organs.

The Kerala High Court has reaffirmed that a donor's criminal history is not an aspect to be taken by the authorisation committee for human organ transplantation.

The process is considered in a case in which a kidney patient challenged a District Level Authorization Committee for Human Organ Transplantation's decision to deny his request for an organ donor on the grounds that the donor had been engaged in many criminal violations. The Petitioner argued that such an order would be untenable because there is no legal bar against criminals donating organs. He admitted that the old Rule, which had been in effect since 1994, required that a donor have no criminal histories, but that the 2014 rules had replaced it. As a result, the revised Rules do not have such a provision.

The Government Pleader concurred with the petitioner that there is no section in the Act or Rules barring a person engaged in criminal activities from donating organs. Furthermore, the Government's attorney argued that the petitioners have an other solution and can appeal the ruling under Section 17 of the Act.

The Court looked through the full Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act and Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Rules, 2014, and discovered no sections that supported the authorization committee's position.

Moreover, it was discovered that the Legislature's sole objective was to prohibit major deals in human organs and tissues. Only if the conditions of the Acts and the Rules adopted thereunder are not met, according to Section 9(6), can the authorisation be denied.

As a result, the Court noted that neither the Rules nor the Act prohibit a person who has committed a criminal offence from donating his organs to a willing receiver. It noted that the committee's decision to deny the application of a friend who steps forward to give his kidney to a guy on his deathbed was illogical.
Meanwhile, the petition was granted, and the disputed decision was overturned as a result. The Authorization Committee was also instructed to reconsider the petitioner's application.

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