BANGALORE, September 18, 2013
The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday permitted Fortis Hospital Ltd., Bangalore, to undertake transplantation of kidney and liver as part of the licence granted to the hospital to conduct transplantation of human organs back in 2010.
However, the court directed the hospital not to undertake transplantation of pancreas till the appropriate authority under the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act, 1994, decided whether the licence included permission for transplantation of pancreas also.
The appropriate authority has been asked to decide the controversy within 10 weeks from October 3.
A Division Bench comprising Justice N. Kumar and Justice V. Suri Appa Rao passed the order.
Major (Retd.) Pankaj Rai had complained to several authorities against the hospital and doctors, alleging negligence and holding them responsible for the death of his wife, who died after undergoing kidney and pancreas transplants in the hospital in May 2010. He also said the hospital had no licence to conduct pancrea transplants.
The Karnataka Medical Council had exonerated the doctors of negligence, and the Appropriate Authority under Transplantation of Human Organs Act and the Joint Director of the Health Department said the hospital was licensed to transplant pancreas.
However, Health Foundation, an NGO comprising doctors, which was authorised by the Karnataka Lokayukta to inquire into Maj. Rai’s complaint, said in its report that the hospital had no licence to transplant pancreas. Besides, its doctors had no experience in the area.
The hospital claimed that it had licence to transplant “liver and other abdominal organs”, and that includes pancreas.
However, after hearing the hospital, the government concluded otherwise and cancelled licences granted for conducting human organ transplantation.