Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Pakistani Hospitals Cited in Illegal Organ Trade

ISLAMABAD, June 23: The Supreme Court is concerned that sale of human organs for transplantation is continuing despite the promulgation of a law prohibiting it.

“It seems the provisions of the ordinance are not adhered to strictly and despite prohibition of the sale of human organs in Pakistan, their trade is going on allegedly in two hospitals, the names of which find have been mentioned in a letter sent by the Transplantation Society of Pakistan,” a three-judge bench observed on Tuesday.

The court had taken suo motu notice of the issue after the Kidney Centre in Rawalpindi and Aadil Hospital in Lahore were reported to be involved in the illegal trade.

An appeal had been filed on the basis of a report published by Dawn on June 14.

The bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, Justice Chaudhry Ijaz Ahmed and Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja observed that the objective of promulgating the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Ordinance, 2007, was to provide for the regulation of removal, storage and transplantation of human organs and tissues for therapeutic purposes.

The law had been developed by the Shaukat Aziz government on the instructions of the apex court which had asked the administration to devise measures against illegal donors, sellers and purchasers of human organs.

Punjab’s Additional Advocate General Qazi Mohammad Amin appeared on court notice, while Advocate Sardar M. Ishaq and Col (retd) Dr Mukhtar Ahmed appeared on behalf of the Kidney Centre, Rawalpindi, and Chief Operating Officer Abdul Waheed Sheikh for the Aadil Hospital, Lahore.

In response to a notice issued on June 20, Mr Sheikh assured the court his hospital’s management had decided not to carry out any transplant in future. An undertaking by the hospital said the decision had been communicated to the Human Organ Transplant Authority.

From here.

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