Organ Harvesting: Abuja Hospital Exonerates Self from Viral Allegation
Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
An Abuja-based medical outfit, Alliance Hospital and Services Limited, has rejected an allegation that it carried out kidney transplant on a minor who is below 18 years.
In the said video which had gone viral online, a young man alleged that Alliance Hospital harvested a kidney from a 17-year-old boy and sold it.
The hospital said the young man also threatened to take the matter to human rights unless it (hospital) accepts to pay the sum of N2.8 million and other things.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja yesterday, the Chief Consultant Surgeon Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Otabor Christopher, said that contrary to the claims contained in the trending video, the hospital undertook all needed procedures both legal and professional requirement before carrying out the kidney transplant.
He said that contrary to allegations contained in the video, the donor was 18 years and two months at the time of the surgery.
He also said that there was no financial inducement made to the boy before accepting to donate his kidney. According to Otabor, “He consented to the procedure willingly without any cohesion or intimidation.”
He stated that the recipient is his uncle. The patient also deposed to an affidavit stating that the donor is his nephew.“With the above documentation, and a positive compatibility and surgery fitness test, the hospital proceeded with the surgery which as always turned out to be successful.
“As a rule, patients source for their donors from amongst members of their families or friends and present to the hospital for compatibility test. If the patients and proposed donors are found to be compatible, then further tests are done to determine the fitness of the donor for kidney donation surgery.
“Once the donor is determined fit to donate, then the administrative and legal procedures are undertaken.
Part of the legal procedure requires that the patient swear to an affidavit stating the following: That he is above 18 years of age which is the legal requirement in Nigeria.
“That there is no financial inducement and that he is not paid any amount of money to undertake this venture.
That he is consenting to the procedure willingly and without any cohesion,” he said.
Otabor further said that regarding the relationship with the recipient in the case in question, the donor duly swore to an affidavit.
He said that the boy swore to an affidavit that he was born on 14th September, 2004 and that he was 18 years and two months at the time of the surgery.
“There was no financial inducement. He consented to the procedure willingly without any cohesion or intimidation.
He stated that the recipient is his uncle. The patient also deposed to an affidavit stating that the donor is his nephew,” he said
The hospital boss, who said he was compelled to speak to the media in order to set the record straight, explained that Kidney transplant is a very complex undertaking involving two major surgeries simultaneously.
Otabor said that the donor and patient were discharged home at the appropriate time without any complications after the surgery.
Explaining further, the physician said “On the 24th November, 2022, exactly two weeks after the surgery, we got an invitation from the highly esteemed Ordinary President, the founder of Human Rights Radio and Television here in Abuja who is a certified arbitrator.
“He informed us that a case of breach of promise regarding a kidney donor has been levied against the hospital and he gave us an opportunity to come and defend ourselves.
“Two representatives from the hospital went to honour that invitation. Also present were members of family of the donor. The family members (his brother and sister) spoke on behalf of the donor and they made the following points:
“That the patient is 17 years old.
That the recipient is not a biological relative of the donor.
That there has been an intermediary person (unknown to the hospital) who contacted the donor on behalf of the recipient to donate his kidney for a financial consideration of N2.8m and a promise to relocate him abroad.
“That the intermediary person did not give the donor any amount of money as promised. That the hospital should pay the family the said N2.8m and fulfill other promises, otherwise they will escalate the case.
“As a hospital we were surprised at the submission of the family at the human rights radio and television meeting. We expressed our surprise at the claims of the family which were contrary to what information the donor gave to the hospital for which he also disposed to an affidavit.
“We took exception to the claims of the family and advised them to locate the intermediary person to discuss their grievances.
“What we are witnessing today is a major drawback of social media whereby unsubstantiated stories fly across the world with the speed of light. This gives credence to the argument by some that the social media space should be regulated,” he said.
Otabor said that the hospital’s lawyers have been briefed to commence a legal suit against the young man who posted the said video for defamation of character.