In an urgent writ petition, the Delhi High Court held that there is no complete prohibition on organ donation by minors.
The petition was filed by a 17-year-old girl seeking directions to the appropriate authority permitting her to donate part of her liver to her father. The father of the petitioner is suffering from acute liver failure and an urgent transplant is necessary. The lawyer for the petitioner added that in view of the COVID-19 lockdown, finding a donor becomes even more difficult.
Considering the matter of organ donation by minors, the Delhi High Court held:
“.. there is no complete prohibition in a minor donating an organ or tissue prior to attaining majority. Donation is permissible but in exceptional circumstances and in accordance with the rules.”
The Single Bench of Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva also held that the donation shall be allowed only when there is no potential risk to the minor.
Accordingly, in the urgent writ petition, the court directed the director of Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket to form a committee. The committee is directed to look into the petitioner’s case and make sure that there is no potential risk to the minor in donating her organ. The committee will comprise of two senior judges, one preferably an expert in Liver Transplant and Biliary Sciences.
“Petitioner would be at liberty to present her case before the said committee and the committee shall render its advice latest by tomorrow evening to the concerned Ministry who shall consider the report immediately thereafter and take a decision forthwith”
The matter is listed tomorrow i.e. 03.04.2020 for hearing at 2 pm.