Delhi High Court Emphasizes Adherence To Timelines for Organ Transplantation

The Delhi High Court has passed an order establishing crucial guidelines for streamlining organ transplants in India. This order was passed by Justice Prathiba M. Singh on May 20, 2024.

Facts Of The Case

The case involved Mr. Amar Singh Bhatia who was a retired Indian Air Force officer. Mr. Bhatia suffered from chronic kidney disease and sought a kidney transplant from Mr. Mukesh Kumar. Mr. Bhatia struggled to obtain approval for a kidney transplant due to delays and a lack of clear communication from Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, where the transplant was planned.

It was alleged that Sir Ganga Ram Hospital raised various objections and Mr. Bhatia and Mr. Kumar continued to supply all the required documents. However, no decision was taken by Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, which ultimately led to the filing of the present petition before the Delhi High Court. Unfortunately, during this time, Mr. Bhatia passed away before receiving the transplant.

The High Court’s Decision

The Court, however, went ahead with the matter and emphasized the need for documented communication between hospitals and transplant recipients.

It is further
clarified that whenever communication needs to be given to either the donor
or the recipient regarding deficiencies in documentation or any procedural
formalities, a communication shall be sent by email or to the mobile number
via WhatsApp to the said donor or the recipient or any of their close
relatives, ensuring that there is proof of communication

Delhi High Court in W.P.(C) 3590/2020

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare was asked to establish timelines for processing transplant applications, verifying documents, and scheduling interviews. It furnished these timelines to the court on May 20, 2024.

These timelines are now mandatory for all Authorization Committees functioning under the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act, 1994. The Court stresses the importance of public awareness regarding these timelines and court orders. This will ensure better communication and improved access to organ transplants for patients in need.

The Court’s decision sets a precedent for faster and more transparent organ transplant procedures in India.

Patients seeking organ transplants can now expect a more streamlined process with clear timelines and documented communication. This judgement aims to improve access to lifesaving organ transplants for many patients across India.