SDBNTC denies wrongdoing in Basnet case

Kathmandu, May 28

Shahid Dharma Bhakta National Transplant Centre, Bhaktapur, has denied wrongdoing in the organ trafficking case of Tharka Bahadur Basnet.

Organising a press meet on the premises of the hospital  today, Nephrologist senior consultant Dr Kalpana Kumari Shrestha said the ‘Transplant Permission Committee’ was responsible for verification of documents, including relationship certificates, of the patient and donor.

The committee comprises a representative of the hospital administration, a lawyer, personnel from District Administrative Office or Chief District Officer and a doctor.

“While verifying necessary documents, medical doctors, Nephrologists and surgeons were not involved in the investigation,” Shrestha said.

Lawyer at the hospital Kumud Bhattrai said Human Organ Transplant Regulation states that only four authorised personnel can permit an organ transplant within first degree relation after verifying necessary documents.

Bhattrai said, “We clearly examined the documents, and they were legal. There was no place for doubt as the kidney recipient had presented relationship verification certificate from its local level, Kanepokhari-, Morang,” adding, “In the document, there were citizenship certificates and two witnesses, wife and uncle of the patient. There existed no space for doubt while verifying the documents.”

Intellectually disabled Kumar Giri, 29, donated his kidney to Tharka Bahadur Basnet on April 23 without awareness that he was donating the organ. Talking to The Himalayan Times, Giri said that Basnet had acquired his kidney by luring him with property and money. “I was told to pretend to be his son Ashish Basnet and he would provide me with property later, but after the transplant took place, I was left on the Jhaukhel road of Bhaktapur,” added Giri.

Dr Shrestha said no mistakes were made while conducting transplant and during document verification, Kumar Giri was healthy. “As per the report, he wasn’t undergoing any medication or treatment and he was fit to donate his kidney.”

Executive Director Dr Pukar Shrestha at the hospital said, “Earlier as well, a few cases with fake documents were caught by the hospital.”