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Tibetan girl's operation stuck in legal tangle

posted Jun 28, 2012, 11:09 AM by The Tibetan Political Review   [ updated Jun 28, 2012, 11:11 AM ]
By Ajay Sura, TNN [Times of India News Network]
June 20, 2012

CHANDIGARH: Dolma Bhuti, 23, a Tibetan national, who had arrived in India in 2001 to study at the Tibetan children school in Dharamshala, desperately needs to undergo a kidney transplant to survive but her refugee status has put her operation in a legal tangle.

In the absence of any organ policy on Tibetans, the PGI requires consent certificates from the Tibetan government-in-exile and the Himachal Pradesh government to carry out the transplantation.

Permission from the Tibetan government-in-exile is required because Dolma is a Tibetan national, and consent of HP government is necessary as the donor Nawang Choeden, 30, a Tibetan refugee, is a state domiciled.

The matter reached before a vacation bench of the Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday. The HC has now asked both the governments to respond by June 27 when a court decision is expected.

In her petition filed before the high court seeking immediate intervention, Dolma has sought directions to PGI Chandigarh to carry out her operation so that she can survive.

Importantly, the PGI has been taking the plea that as per the laws of the land on organ transplantation, permission from the central government of the patient as well as the donor is required, thus they want 'no objection' from HP and Tibetans government authorities.

In her early twenties, Dolma had recently developed nephrotic syndrome and according to doctors, only kidney transplantation can save her life.

Choeden, who is also living with Dolma, had offered to donate her kidney out of compassion and both of them had approached the PGI Chandigarh for transplantation operation in May but were denied citing the legal problems in their case on June 1.

The girls moved the high court after the rejection and sought immediate intervention of the court.

"Dolma is undergoing dialysis and in case kidney transplantation is not carried out, she may not survive beyond 15-20 days," said her lawyer Arvind Kashyap.

According to Kashyap, lack of any policy of organ transplantation about Tibetans has led to the present situation.

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