The refusal of the railway police to grant a no-objection certificate (NOC) for the organ retrieval of a brain-dead railway accident victim on Wednesday is not the first incident where an NOC was denied.
Six months ago, the Santacruz police refused to grant an NOC in a case involving a brain-dead accident victim at Nanavati hospital, thereby losing the opportunity to harvest the organs.
“Policemen are ignorant about the law,” said Dr Sujata Patwardhan, secretary, zonal transplant and co-ordination Committee (ZTCC).
However, Dr Pravin Shingare, joint director, Directorate of Medical Education and Research, disagrees. “Police always co-operate in organ donation cases. There may be a communication problem on our part,” he said.
Doctors said a patient is declared brain dead by a panel of four doctors. The police then can grant a NOC to retrieve organs followed by a panchnama.
Patwardhan said she would meet Prabhat Kumar, commissioner of police (GRP) on Saturday to explain the law.
Defending his policemen, however, Kumar said, “The Transplantation of Human Organs Act (1994) says if a person is declared brain dead, doctors have to issue a certificate mentioning this, followed by the family’s consent. The officials were not given this certificate on Wednesday, hence they did not do the panchnama.”