'Misunderstanding' halts 4-pair Domino kidney transplantation in Mumbai hospital

State refuses permission to donor, recipient as they happen to be uncle, niece

 In what doctors call a ‘misunderstanding’, a four-pair Domino kidney transplantation has been brought to a halt in Mumbai as one of the pairs from Karnataka was denied permission for such a transplantation by the authority concerned here.

A ‘yes’ from the Karnataka State Government Human Organ Transplantation Authorisation Committee could mean a new lease of life for four. However, in what the Mumbai doctors term as a ‘misunderstanding’, the State has refused to give permission for doctors to go ahead with a Domino transplantation.

The domino kidney transplantation was due to happen at Mumbai’s Hinduja Hospitals and Hiranandani Hospital. While permission has been granted to donor-recipient pairs from Pune and Mumbai, those from Karnataka were refused. Speaking with Deccan Herald, Dr Jatin Kothari, nephrologist, Hinduja Hospitals, said permission was refused on the grounds that a maternal uncle and niece cannot participate in a Domino transplant and that it had to be only a first-circle relative.

“It has taken us almost a year to plan this transplant. Even with other Domino transplants, it usually takes a lot of time. The authorising committee in Karnataka must give permission to the donor to donate his organ. Only after this, we can go ahead with the transplantation. We have not got approval from their end. We are contemplating approaching them again and are hopeful of a positive response,” Kothari said. An official from the Committee said the relationship between the pair from Karnataka, who were among eight others, was that of a maternal uncle and niece.

However, in Karnataka, permission wouldbe granted only if it was the first circle of relatives such as parents or children.

“In a meeting with the officials from Karnataka, they were also asked to get the originals of all the medical documents,” the source said.

Dr Kothari, terming it a ‘multiple-level confusion’, said that since the transplantation was happening outside Karnataka, the authority had to only grant permission for the donor to go ahead and that it was accepted in Maharashtra for a maternal uncle and niece to participate in Domino transplantation. “In our State, in each of the cases, permission was granted based on the particular case,” he said.

‘No specific mention’

Dr H Sudharshan Ballal, medical director, Manipal Hospitals, said there was no specific mention about Domino transplantation in the Human Organ Transplantation Law and that this was a part of logistics. “As far as the State is concerned, it is only classified into related and unrelated donors and is particular that no money transaction is involved. The decision lies with the authority on whether or not to grant permission. Better co-ordination between the authorities of different states can help resolve the issue,” Dr Ballal said.

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