Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has expressed hope that Tamil Nadu authorities will take action in the Salem organ donation case based on its inquiry.
The Chief Minister was speaking of an incident in May when a family from Kerala accused a hospital in Salem of forcing them to donate organs of a family member who was brain dead, in return for forfeiture of the bill.
Replying to a submission by K Babu, an MLA from the Communist Party of India (M), the CM also said a case has been filed in the Thiyagadurgam police station regarding the accident.
â€śI received a reply from the TN CM on May 26 saying that he has deputed the Director of Medical and Rural Health Services to conduct a detailed inquiry and that he has given instructions to the concerned authorities to provide the best medical care to those injured in the accident. The injured have since been discharged from that hospital and expert medical care has been provided to them,â€ť the letter said.
A vehicle with seven persons met with an accident on May 18, in Kallakurichi, near Salem in Tamil Nadu. Three persons were critically injured and were taken to Vinayaka Mission Super Specialty Hospital (VIMS) in Salem. P Manikandan, one of the three who were admitted in the hospital died on May 20.
Shankar, Manikandanâ€™s brother told TNM that the hospital did not give them correct update since the admission and on May 20, they informed the family that Manikandan was brain dead.
The family had alleged that the hospital authorities demanded Rs.3 lakh for the treatment expenses. Shankar also said that the hospital asked them to donate Manikandanâ€™s organs and that they would forfeit the bill since the family had no money to pay.
The family had then written a letter to Kerala CM explaining their situation and requesting him to intervene. The CM wrote to the TN CM in the last week of May asking for an inquiry.
However, VP Chandrasekaran, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of VIMS had denied Shankarâ€™s allegation.
Speaking to TNM, he said, â€śOn May 19, we had got a surety from the owner of Manikandanâ€™s vehicle that he would pay the bill. And he did that later. So then, why would we ask money from the family?â€ť
Two CCTV footages from the hospital on May 21 also show the COO in consultation with Manikandanâ€™s family. In one of the footages, Chandrasekaran can be seen explaining the procedure to be followed while organ donation and that unanimous consent of the family is required for donating organs.
The second footage shows Manikandanâ€™s family members signing the papers. Although Shankar said that they had no other option but to sign the papers, one cannot see any signs of opposition being raised by the family in the footage.
The COO added that the investigators have visited VIMS for enquiry the first time on May 26 and examined the documents and the CCTV footage. The investigators also visited the hospital the second time on June 10, to reconfirm the documents.