Supreme Court to examine whether a minor can donate his organ to save his father’s life

As the minor, through his mother, wants to donate his liver to his critically ill father, the Supreme Court appears to be concerned to clarify the law on the subject, considering the urgency.

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THE Supreme Court on September 12 will examine whether a minor can donate an organ to save the life of his critically ill father. A bench comprising the Chief Justice of India U.U. Lalit, and Justices S. Ravindra Bhat and P.S. Narishma, issued notice to the Uttar Pradesh government on a petition filed by a minor, through his mother, who wants to donate his liver to his critically ill father.

The minor is obstructed from donating the organ because under the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act, 1994, a donor can only be a major person. However, under the Rules framed under this Act, a living organ or tissue donation by a minor shall not be permitted except on exceptional medical grounds, to be recorded in detail with full justification and with prior approval of the appropriate authority and the state government concerned.

The bench took up the matter this morning after it was mentioned by the advocate for the petitioner for an urgent hearing.

The bench directed its registry to independently send an appropriate communication to the standing counsel for the Uttar Pradesh government as well as the Health Secretary of the Uttar Pradesh government. It has also asked that a responsible officer from the Health Department in Uttar Pradesh remain present on Monday when the matter will be heard.

In the meantime, the bench has directed that the petitioner present himself before the concerned hospital, which may do preliminary tests to ascertain whether he can be a donor, and whether the donation of an organ in the present case would otherwise be feasible and permissible.

Click here to view the Supreme Court’s order.