Ways of the Authorisation Committee

Published : Mar 30, 2002 00:00 IST

IT is difficult, it seems, to disabuse the Authorisation Committee in Karna-taka of the notion that kidney donors in general are deeply attached to the persons to whom they are donating their kidneys. Frontline came across evidence of the Committee going out of its way to help applicants for unrelated live transplants present watertight cases before it.

Establishing a relationship of 'love and affection' between the donor and the recipient is child's play when the 'right documentation' is in hand. Even when applications carry highly questionable or incomplete documentation, or where the donor's oral testimony contradicts his or her written affidavit, the Committee does not immediately reject the application. The practice is to ask the recipient and the donor to appear again with more documents, or to present their cases more convincingly. When all this fails, the Committee even advises the recipient to find yet another affectionate donor and reappear before the Committee.

Here are some interesting examples of the leniency showed by the Authorisation Committee towards tall claims made by recipients and donors:

* A recipient successfully makes an application before the Committee in August 1999. The same person applies to the Committee in September 1999, this time with a different donor. The first donor, it seems, has backed out of the agreement. The Committee unquestioningly approves the second application.

* In July 2001, an application is made before the Authorisation Committee by a recipient who states that the donor has been residing with him for the last three years. On being questioned, the donor is unable to give the name of the recipient's hometown. The Committee doubts the authenticity of the case and asks the recipient-and-donor to reappear the following week with better documentation. The case is approved.

* In a case cleared in August 2001, the recipient claims that the donor is his employee, but does not submit any documents as proof. The donor does not even know the name of the roads that lead to the recipient's house. The following week, the Committee calls in both parties. They still do not produce the documents. They are given yet another week to get the documents. The case is cleared.

* In yet another case that went up before the Committee in the same month, the recipient in her oral testimony tells the Committee that she has never met the recipient and has seen him only once at a function. The recipient-and-donor are instructed by the Committee to file better affidavits indicating how they came to know each other. They do so and in the next sitting their case is cleared.

* In one case that was closed on September 29, 2001, the recipient-and-donor were called eight times before the Authorisation Committee to give them eight opportunities to convince it of their affective relationship. Finally, permission was withheld until such time as the recipient might come up with a fresh representation.

* A 53-year-old recipient brings a young unmarried girl as a donor before the Committee in November 2001. On account of the age of the girl, the Committee rejects the application, but not before informing the recipient that he can always re-apply with a suitable donor and appropriate documents.

* In the same month, a case of a recipient-and-donor from two different States of India comes before the Committee. The Committee is not convinced that they know each other and asks them to reappear the next week with more 'proof' of their relationship. Neither the recipient nor donor turns up for the meeting. The case is postponed to the following week. At this point the recipient introduces a brother in Bangalore and claims that the donor worked for him. The Committee makes enquiries and discovers that the 'brother' does not reside at the address given by the recipient. The Committee finally dismisses the application, but with advice to the recipient to approach the Committee again if he can establish his relationship with the donor, or if he brings another donor who is well known to him.

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