Nature Life

Family Allegedly Pressurised To Donate Organs For Bill

Nature Life News Reporter - 2018/05/29

The vital organs of 22-year-old percussion artist who died in a road accident was allegedly removed in lieu of enormous bill the family could not afford to pay up.
On May 16, Manikandan sustained grievous injuries on his way for a performance at Melvathur in Tamil Nadu, when the van in which he traveled met with an accident at Salem. On the fourth day, doctors informed the family of his brain-death and presented a Rs 2 lakh bill.
They said death would be confirmed after they take him off the ventilator after bill is arranged for. the family that lives in poverty was sustained by Manikandan’s earnings of meager Rs 700 per day. Manikandan’s father Pechimuthu is paralysed on the limbs and mother has negligible daily wages.
When the family expressed inability to raise the sum, the hospital authorities offered them an alternative  to sign consent letter to donate their son’s organs. All expenses would be taken care of, they said. A post-mortem was performed, the report of which was never given to the family.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has written to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami to probe into the matter.
Hospitial authorities meanwhile responded saying organ donation was carried out after issuing all necessary documents. They denied the family version of the incident.
A Team headed by Medical Health Services and Rural Development director M R Enbasekaran, which was formed to inquire into the alleged organ theft at a private hospital in Salem, held inquiries with Coimbatore Medical College Hospital dean B Ashokan regarding the treatment given to one of the patients who was earlier treated at the private hospital.
An inquiry team from Tamil Nadu visited the house of P Manikantan, the road accident victim whose organs were allegedly illegally removed by the hospital, in Nellimedu, Palakkad. The inquiry team comprising joint medical director Malarmizhi, Coimbatore Medical College chief Venkatesh, Vigilance DySP Thomson Prakash and SP Kamalakannan spoke to Manikantan’s father Pechimuthu and brothers Mahesh and Manoj.
The team said it would visit Nellimedu again to collect evidence from those accompanying Manikantan. Seven people were returning to Palakkad  from Melmaruvathur, near Chennai, when their car met with an accident near Salem on May 16. All seven people who were injured were initially treated at a government hospital. Two persons, K Manikandan, 24, and P Manikantan, 24, both from Palakkad district, had sustained grievous injuries and were shifted to a private hospital in Salem on May 18.
Soon after the allegation came up, one Manikandan, who was also declared brain dead, was immediately shifted to the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital. The probe team conducted inquiries with the hospital management and victims in Salem on Friday and Saturday.The team met B Ashokan and inquired about the treatment given to Manikandan and his condition at the time of his admission. “He was brought in an unconscious state and we have kept him on ventilator. We have been continuously monitoring him. The inquiry team asked about the treatment given to the patient here and we have given the details,” said Ashokan.
Sources said the team collected documents from the private hospital regarding treatment. “The team has also collected CCTV footage from the private hospital. The team will submit a report in a day or two,” sources said.Meanwhile, the Kerala State Human Rights Commission had called for a comprehensive inquiry into the incident and asked the Palakkad Collector to submit a report. In the preliminary inquiry report submitted by Chittur tahsildar V K Rema to Collector P Suresh Babu, she said seven organs, including the heart, liver and kidneys, had been removed by the hospital authorities.

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