Andhra Pradesh hospital asks for organs of dead man to pay the bills

Nellore: District Collector R. Muthyala Raju has directed the Sub-Collector of Kavali, Mr Sridhar to investigate the complaint of a woman who alleged that a corporate hospital in Nellore forced her to donate the organs of her husband, who died after being involved in an accident, in lieu of treatment charges of Rs 1 lakh.   

Speaking to this newspaper, the collector said that he has ordered the District Medical and Health Officer, Principal of Government Medical College and Superintendent of GGH to also probe the incident.

The deceased, Yekollu Srinivasulu, of Vuddepugunta village in Allur mandal of SPSR Nellore district was critically injured in a road accident near Beeramgunta village on April 17.

The motorcycle rider, who was responsible for the accident, rushed him to the corporate hospital located on the national highway at Nellore and also paid Rs 20,000 as advance.

Srinivasulu’s wife Aruna went to the hospital and was told that her husband needed surgery related to the brain, but the doctors expressed their doubts about his survival.

They told her to pay Rs 1 lakh towards treatment given already, in addition to the Rs 20,000 paid as advance, but she said she was unable to pay such a large sum.

Srinivasulu passed away and was declared brain dead. Aruna was told to pay the bill and take the body. In her oral statement before the inquiry officers, Aruna said the doctors suggested that she donate her husband’s organs since she didn’t have the money to pay the bill. She said they also returned `20,000 paid as advance besides promising free treatment to her family in future.  

Though she signed the papers related to organ donation, she claims that she was not aware about the removal of the organs. She told the enquiry officials that she would have never agreed to organ donation if she had money to pay the bill.

When contacted, chairman of the hospital, K. Ravindra Reddy, expressed his surprise at Aruna’s allegations since the doctors had explained all the details to her and the organs were harvested only after taking her consent as per procedure.

The organs include two kidneys, a heart and two eyes, he said. Official sources said that the report of the DMHO and Medical Officers deputed for the inquiry will reveal the facts and their main doubt is whether the patient was brain dead before admission or later. The medical team collected statements from the doctors on Tuesday.

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