People have often received messages on WhatsApp groups requesting the members to donate blood. But this time, a message with details of a patient on death bed wanting to donate kidneys as his last wish has come under the police scanner.
On October 9, Kishore Phadke, convener of Jeevasarthakathe, the cadaver organ donation authority of Karnataka, had lodged a complaint with cybercrime police suspecting involvement of racketeers behind it, reported the Times of India.
The message with a cellphone number to contact reads, “A donor of kidneys is available, a person aged 27 is in his death bed. His last wish is to donate kidneys and his blood group is AB+. Someone somewhere may require, forward to as many as possible. We may save a life.”
However, Phadke says that advertising organ donation on such platforms is illegal since there are chances of organ trafficking.
“This is not the first time that such messages are getting circulated, but we don't want to ignore it this time. There was no response when we dialled the number given in the message. One cannot advertise or solicit like that, it's illegal as per the Human Organ Transplant Act-1994,” Phadke told Times of India.
The patient’s doctor needs to be informed if he wants to donate his organs. In the event of suspected brain death, the hospital must get its panel to examine and verify brain death. Only then the issue of organ donation is pursued. Thereafter, family's consent to donate organs is documented. The Jeevasarthakathe is then involved for organ allocation, identifying potential recipients.
The police has registered an FIR and a case registered under section 19 (punishment for commercial dealings in human organs) of the Transplantation of Human Organ Act, 1994. Separately, cases have also been registered under section 66D (punishment for cheating by personation by using computer resource) of the Information Technology Act-2000 and section 420 (punishment cheating) of IPC against unknown persons for circulating messages on social media.