Kochi: Poverty is no bar for organ donation, the High Court of Kerala said, adding that being poor is not a sin.
High Court Judge Justice P V Kunhikrishnan made the observation while setting aside the Thrissur district-level organ donation authorisation committee's decision disallowing a woman from an economically backward family from donating her kidney.
Ordering the committee to make a legally tenable decision within a week, the court also pointed out that the law did not prohibit the poor from donating organs.
The High Court issued the order based on a joint petition filed by P Reeja of Kondotty, and Chittoor-resident K Saraswati, who volunteered to donate her kidney. Reeja, undergoing dialysis three times a week and requiring renal transplantation, has been undergoing treatment at a private hospital.
Saraswati decided to donate her kidney after the media reported the plight of Reeja, mother of a differently-abled child. Saraswati and Reeja's families were known to each other. The district committee denied permission citing Sarawati's financial backwardness and that a certificate from the village officer she had produced was fake.
The court said that there was no rule that the poor cannot donate organs. Adding that being poor was no one's fault, the court observed that there were several people in the society willing to help such people.
While asking the committee to reconsider its decision, the court directed it to check if any financial transaction had taken place. The court also questioned the panel's observation that the village officer's certificate was fake.