DMER directs hospitals to follow strict document grid for organ donation

The Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) has asked all hospitals in Maharashtra to verify the documents of organ donors before they give consent for donation. Additionally, they should also check if there is any monetary transaction involved in organ donation.

Recently, a woman allegedly took Rs 15 lakh and posed as the wife of a patient so that he could undergo a kidney transplant at Ruby Hall Clinic in Pune. The state health department suspended the hospital’s registration for organ transplants for six months. While a court in Pune demanded a report from the police on the alleged incident, the High Court suspended the health department’s order. Meanwhile, the operation of the regional organ transplant authorization committee has been temporarily suspended. This committee is responsible for approving these transplants.

Director of DME, Dr. Dilip Mhaisekar, said there is a need to come up with guidelines to avoid such an incident in the future which could hamper the organ donation campaign across Maharashtra. He said: “Usually doctors or hospital authorities know the donors because they are in constant contact with them, giving updates on their patients. But in the case of Pune, there was a lack of verification of documents due to which we made the hospitals responsible for checking and verifying the documents of the donors.

Under the new rules, documents such as Aadhaar card, ration card, bank statements, etc. of the beneficiary and the donor must be verified and certified by the head of the institution before submitting them to the authorization committee.

The new circular was welcomed by several doctors who said it was necessary to hold the hospital accountable. But private hospitals have expressed their displeasure with the circular, saying it will not only hamper the organ donation campaign which has recently gained momentum, but will also prevent genuine donors from coming forward for the good cause.

“The decision will delay the organ transplant process. We have no mechanism to authenticate documents. Holding ourselves solely responsible for the same thing is not fair,” said a doctor on condition of anonymity.

Case of Ruby Hospital (Pune)

A Kolhapur woman, in exchange for Rs 15 lakh, allegedly posed as the wife of a man who needed a transplant and donated her kidney to a young patient. In turn, the mother of the young woman donated her kidney to the man. Such an exchange involving two patients and their relatives is performed when the patients cannot receive a kidney from their own relative due to blood type incompatibility. On March 29, four days after undergoing a transplant at the Ruby Hall Clinic, the woman revealed her true identity after having an argument over money. The hospital then alerted the police, who in turn reported the incident to the state health department.

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Posted: Friday, April 22, 2022, 11:30 p.m. IST

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