Kerala HC permits 17-year-old Thrissur girl to donate a portion of her liver to ailing father

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Representational image.

Kochi: The determination of a minor girl in Thrissur to donate a portion of her liver to save her father's life has won over the High Court of Kerala.

The High Court has ruled in favour of Devananda, a 17-year-old from Thrissur, who had petitioned the court seeking an exemption in her age to be a donor as prescribed under Rule 18 of the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Rules, 2014.

The court hailed Devananda's compassion and gave the green signal. Thanks to the court verdict, her father, Pratheesh P G, who suffers from Decompensated Chronic Liver Disease with Hepatocellular Carcinoma, a non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, can undergo the transplant.

"It is heartening to note that the unrelenting fight put up by Devananda has finally succeeded. I applaud the petitioner's fight to save her father's life. Blessed are parents who have children like Devananda," Justice V G Arun said in his order.

Devananda's liver was the only one that found a match and while she was willing to donate, the rules posed a hurdle. In her petition, Devananda asked to be treated as an adult if she was passed medically fit for the organ donation.

"The writ petition is disposed of permitting the petitioner to donate a portion of her liver for conducting her father's transplantation surgery, subject to the other requirements of the Act and the Rules," the court said in the order.

An expert committee constituted by the Kerala State Organ Tissue Transplant Organisation (K-SOTTO) had been set up to study Devananda's case. The committee comprising three specialist doctors conducted a detailed evaluation and said there was no option other than a transplantation and the donor was fully aware of the consequences of her decision to donate a portion of her liver.
(with agency inputs)

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