City doctor acquitted

Case pertaining to removal of kidney without consent

SHILLONG: The court of Judicial Magistrate of First Class has acquitted Dr Shantanu Shome who was accused of removing the kidney of a patient, Jala Lyngdoh, in 2002 in absence of evidence.
The court of AM Pariat did not find any incriminating evidence against Shome and observed that the operation was conducted to save his life because as per the report of the five-member medical panel, his “kidney was diseased”.
“Jala was suffering from multiple renal calculi in the right kidney and was operated upon for the removal of the stone and developed severe complications for which emergency right nephrectomy (removal of kidney) has to be done and that the kidney was destroyed by incineration and that his kidney was diseased and it could not in any way be used for transplantation,” the court observed.
It also said Woodland Hospital, where the operation was done, did not have facilities for “pre-operation of a patient for kidney transplant” and that there was no infrastructure or specialised manpower for preserving kidneys in a viable state.
“This summary itself confirms that the act of the accused as a doctor in the instant case was to save the life of Jala Lyngdoh and the same is again supported by evidences of Dr Diganta Das, Dr Nungminthang Sitihou, Shiny Sabastian and Estinoris Kharjana,” the court order said.
Lyngdoh’s FIR lodged on April 16, 2008, at Laitumkhrah police station stated that he went to Dr Shome with stomach ache on December 21, 2002. The doctor, after examination, told Lyngdoh that he had stones in his stomach and got him admitted in Woodland Hospital.
On December 24, Dr Shome operated on him but after the operation, he did not recover and blood started coming out with his urine. On January 3, 2003, Shome said the stitch had come out and so he was re-operated but that even after the second operation, the bleeding continued.
Later, his bleeding stopped but when he did not recover, he was taken to Midland Hospital and Research Centre in Guwahati and after tests, it was found that his right kidney was removed during the operation conducted by Shome without consent of the family.
The inquiry by the team of specialist doctors revealed that Lyngdoh’s consent was taken for the first operation on December 24, 2002, but his consent was not sought for the second operation by Shome on January 3, 2003.
The court order also said the complaint in the case was not been made by any competent authority as required under Section 22 of the Transplantation of the Human Organs (TOHO) Act.
The court took cognizance of the fact that police charge-sheet is in violation of TOHO Act.
Moreover, the inquiry report submitted by the medical team constituted in connection with the case should have been relied upon.

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