Maharashtra government delays decision on bureaucrat’s kidney transplant
While the review meeting to decide if a 51-year-old bureaucrat with end-stage kidney failure can receive a transplant from her house help’s husband was postponed on Wednesday, top officials from the health ministry said not a single approval has yet been granted for organ donation between employer and employee.
Officials said out of the nine appeals — of cases rejected by hospitals — of unrelated kidney donation in 2016, six had approached them twice and three of them were reconsidered. DMER director Dr Pravin Shingare said they have rejected a similar case in January 2016.
The meeting is a result of chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’ intervention in the case after it was rejected by DMER twice. Shaina NC, BJP politician who was one of the those who requested the CM to intervene, said, “The 30 something man has been looked after by the family since a long time and there is no financial involvement whatsoever in the case. We had even appealed to the CM to allow the transplant procedure on humanitarian grounds.”
The appeal of the bureaucrat to allow her house help’s husband to donate kidney to her was rejected a fortnight ago, because the officials failed to find “affection” between the donor and the recipient to rule out exchange of money.“Commonly in the appeals of unrelated transplants, the donors are distant relatives. This case, like the one earlier this year, was rejected because the donor was the house help’s relative and they failed to establish compassion,” said Dr Shingare.
Sources from health ministry said the state has never witnessed a legal transplant procedure in which the donor was a help or help’s relative. “Usually in such cases, there is an apparent chance of monetary gains and that’s why they are rejected. It won’t set a right example if the government allows this transplant because more such appeals will follow,” said the official.
Senior nephrologists from the city, on the other hand, said while at one end the government representative of Hospital Authorization Committee (HAC), which gives approvals to related kidney transplant, is prolonging the procedures and requesting extra paperwork, it’s hypocrisy to allow a non-related transplant with donor being the house help’s relative.
“Recently a kidney transplant procedure between mother (donor) and son (recipient) was needlessly prolonged because of the pending approval of the wife of the recipient. Blood related transplants are delayed by government representatives across the city and it’s a serious issue to be looked at,” said Dr Bharat Shah, a veteran nephrologist.