A 39-year-old villager from Barabanki has sued doctors of a premier government hospital in Lucknow for “stealing” one of his kidneys during treatment for a stone in the vital organ.
The Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS) dismissed Sanjeev Kumar’s allegation, saying it was an attempt to tarnish the hospital’s image. He was apparently told prior to the surgery that his damaged kidney has to be removed.
The Barabanki chief judicial magistrate (CJM) has asked police to investigate and file a report at the next hearing on May 17.
Kumar said in his lawsuit that he went to the hospital in April 2015 with a sharp pain in his abdomen.
Diagnosis revealed a kidney stone of 20mm and surgeon Anish Srivastava suggested surgery, which was done accordingly on August 23 that year.
He was discharged after a few days but he continued to suffer a gnawing pain in the abdomen, forcing him to visit the hospital repeatedly.
During one of his visits, he was referred to a gastroenterologist for investigation. An ultrasound test this February revealed that one of his kidneys was missing, the complainant alleged.
He named a team of doctors, including Srivastava, as responsible for removing his kidney without his knowledge during the surgery two years ago.
“I went to court after the SGPIMS administration and the district magistrate failed to respond to my complaint,” he said.
Hospital director Rakesh Kapoor countered that the patient was making a false allegation.
“That man was told in advance that his kidney would be removed as it was non-functional. It would have out his life in danger.”
Besides, Kumar’s relatives were shown the biopsy report of the kidney and they had signed papers before the surgery that mentioned clearly that the organ would be taken out, he said.
“It’s a shame that some people fail to appreciate the good work of doctors … if false allegations continue, doctors will have to think twice before surgery.”
Doctors at King George’s Medical University, another leading hospital in the Uttar Pradesh capital, faced similar accusations recently of stealing a kidney from Prithviraj, a Barabanki resident.
He accused two doctors of removing one of his kidneys without telling him in February 2015.
The doctors denied the charge and went to court to quash a criminal case against them.
Fear of losing a kidney to illegal transplant rackets is rife among people, especially in the countryside, as there have been reports of hundreds of poor labourers being duped or forced into donating organs to wealthy clients, including foreigners.
A shortage of transplant organs has fuelled a black market that exploits needy donors. Such operations are confined mostly to backstreet clinics because of tight government regulations.
The fear has become so deeply ingrained that people sometimes suspect doctors from prominent hospitals who are genuinely trying to help.