Cites ‘serious legal issues’; case can’t go ahead when prospective donor’s father opposes it: Chairman

The Authorisation Committee for organ transplants in Kashmir Tuesday rejected the case of a Sikh girl who had offered to donate her kidney to a terminally ill Muslim friend, on compassionate grounds.

Director Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Prof Omar Javed Shah, who is also chairperson of the committee, said there were “serious legal issues” in the case. He said after examining the entire case in-depth the panel “unanimously decided not to authorize the donation”.

Quoting authorisation rules, the chairman said, the seven-member committee constituted under J&K Transplantation of Human Organ Rules was empowered to reject a case on basis of a “complaint or doubt”.

The Sikh girl, Manjot Singh Kohli has offered to donate kidney to save life of her friend Samreen Akhtar who is suffering from kidney failure.

Manjot has been arguing that being a major she was entitled to take a decision on her own regarding donation of an organ while citing law governing organ donation.

However Prof Shah said they had taken “serious note” of the prospective donor’s father Gurdeep Singh Kohli’s communication to SKIMS that her daughter was being “pressurized” to donate her kidney.

“Last week, we received an affidavit from him stating that Manjot was under pressure and requested us not to carry out the procedure,” Prof Shah said. He added that Kohli has also threatened legal action against the Institute in case the procedure was carried out.

The prospective donor and recipient, the director said, can approach court in case they wish to contest the committee’s decision. “The committee is clear that this organ donation cannot go ahead when her (Manjot’s) father has leveled serious allegations,” he said.

In an affidavit submitted to the SKIMS, a copy of which has been accessed by Greater Kashmir, Manjot’s father has alleged she has been “misled” by some “vested interest parties”, without consent of her family and without “consideration of her future, being an unmarried female”.

Manjot had last week approached a lawyer to help her “save a human life”. The lawyer Deepika Singh Rajawat had told Greater Kashmir that they would wait for decision of Authorisation Committee. “We would decide the future course of action after that,” she had said.

A member of the Committee said earlier when they had examined the case, they had sought parental consent for accepting Manjot’s donation.

“The committee, as a norm, examines family members of the donor and recipient in every case to rule out commercial nature or other unapproved reasons for organ donation,” the member said.

The case hit headlines after the Manjot posted her anguish regarding delay by SKIMS to carry out the procedure, on social media.

Talking to Greater Kashmir Manjot said she hasn’t been communicated anything by the Committee about fate of the case.
The meeting was convened late Tuesday evening with all seven members present.

The members of the panel include director health services Kashmir, principal Government Medical College Srinagar, heads of departments of surgery, medicine and immunology of SKIMS and law officer of the institute.