A daily wage labourer who was discharged against medical advice and flown from Trichy to Chennai for further treatment was declared brought dead soon after he was airlifted to Gleneagles Global Hospitals in Tamil Nadu’s capital. Interestingly, AIADMK leader V K Sasikala's husband M Natarajan is awaiting a liver transplant in the same hospital.
Karthik N, 19, a daily wage labourer admitted to the Thanjavur Government Medical College Hospital on September 30 with a grievous head injury, reported the Times of India. However, according to a doctor at the hospital, Karthik was discharged ‘against medical advice’ and flown to Chennai in an air ambulance with a government doctor on board.
Karthik was brought to the Tiruchi International Airport by a private ambulance at around 11pm. The air ambulance, a chopper from Coimbatore-based Ganga Hospital that cost Rs 1 lakh per hour, picked him up around midnight and landed in Chennai around 1.45am on Tuesday, reported TOI.
Neurologists at Global hospital conducted a test on Karthik at 10.30 am, a good eight hours after he was flown in. The doctors declared him brain dead. After this, the hospital alerted the Tamil Nadu State Transplant Authority (Transtan) about a ‘potential organ donor’.
Even as Transtan sent out alerts about Karthik to all hospitals, the transplant team at Global Hospitals was preparing a critically ill M Natarajan, husband of jailed AIADMK leader VK Sasikala, for transplant.
“We will be harvesting organs once we get permission from Transtan. We are preparing Natarajan for liver and kidney transplant. There is a blood group match. Both are O positive,“ a senior doctor from the Global Hospitals transplant team told TOI.
The manner in which Karthik’s death was handled raises suspicions. Why was Karthik discharged from the Government Medical College Hospital against medical advice and under whose orders? Why was he specifically flown to a hospital where a very influential leader’s husband was awaiting organ transplant? Is it a mere coincidence? Why was there a delay of eight hours in treatment if Karthik’s condition was critical? Was Karthik’s family consulted before deciding to harvest his organs?
In fact, the amount charged for the airlift was billed in Karthik's name. Did the authorities actually believe that a daily wage labourer can pay such an enormous amount?
Ganga Hospitals in Coimbatore said they received a call for the air ambulance on Sunday. “A doctor from the government hospital got in touch with us. He gave us the case sheets and fitness certificate for travel. The patient had brain injuries and was on ventilator. An anaesthetist accompanied him,“ said a senior doctor.
Karthik, a native of Koothadivayal village near Aranthangi in Pudukkottai district, used to erect flex banners for functions, according to police. He was admitted to the Thanjavur hospital on September 30 with traumatic brain injury after a road accident.
The Thanjavur hospital dean Dr Jayakumar said he had ‘no idea about the case’. Doctors from the hospital, however, confirmed that the patient was discharged against medical advice and taken to the Trichy airport in a private ambulance.
Sasikala had appealed for a parole stating that her husband was ill and wanted to stay by side. Hours after submitting her parole application, it was rejected due to technical reasons and insufficient documents.