THREE DOCTORS, including two from Dr L H Hiranandani Hospital and one representing the state government, have been held responsible under two rules of the Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994, that shows medical negligence on their part in the illegal kidney transplant attempted at the hospital on July 14.
The Directorate of Health Services (DHS), in its final report, has said that under Rule 18 and Rule 22 of the Act, the three doctors played a role in approving the transplant procedure. A three-member committee formed by the state government submitted its report to the DHS director recently on the kidney racket. According to Dr Mohan Jadhav, director at DHS, the report will be given to the Powai police to finalise the chargesheet. In the preliminary report, five doctors, including hospital CEO Dr Sujit Chatterjee and medical director Dr Anurag Naik, were accused of medical negligence in authorising and conducting the kidney transplant. In the final report, the DHS has added the names of three more doctors: pathologist Dr Suwin Shetty, surgeon Dr Veena Sewlikar and Dr B K Kadam.
The three doctors were part of the local authorisation committee which approved the transplant between deceased recipient Brijkishore Jaiswal and donor Shobha Thakur on July 12, two days before the transplant was stopped by the police.
The three have been held responsible under Rule 18, which puts the onus on the authorisation committee to scrutinise documents thoroughly before approving them, and Rule 22, which holds committee members responsible for interviewing family members if the donor is a woman. In this case, Jaiswal’s son Kisan posed as Thakur’s brother in the video interview conducted by the hospital. On documents, Thakur was shown as Jaiswal’s wife Rekha Devi.
“Complete measures were not taken in the cross-questioning of the family of Shobha Thakur. Rule 22 states that necessary precautions must be taken for female donors as they may be forced into donating their organ,” said a member of the DHS committee. While Shetty, a pathologist, and Sewlikar, a surgeon, represented Hiranandani Hospital during the authorisation meeting, Kadam, an anaesthetist, was the state government-appointed officer in the case. However, the report has not recommended booking the three under any sections of the Act.
The hospital’s medical director, Naik, was also part of the committee. The local authorisation committee is a six-member committee that can hold meetings if the quorum is four. The DHS is also investigating other illegal kidney transplants conducted at the hospital this year. “We will probe the role of each doctor and management official involved in these transplants,” said Dr Gauri Rathod, assistant director at DHS.
Last week, recipient Jaiswal (48) died in Surat after his health worsened due to chronic kidney failure. He was set to receive a kidney from Thakur (42) through forged documents when the transplant was stopped mid-way. Later, he was released on bail on medical grounds. Along with his case, DHS is probing another transplant case in which a Gujarat-based woman recipient died shortly after an illegal kidney transplant at Hiranandani hospital.