London, Oct. 16: A family doctor was suspended for six months on Monday after being found guilty of encouraging the illegal trade of organs from live donors.
Jarnail Singh, 49, had denied serious professional misconduct at a General Medical Council disciplinary hearing in Manchester and will have to undergo an educational programme in ethics before he can resume his career.
Two journalists, posing as a son and a friend of a man dying of kidney disease, had approached him in November 2000 to discuss the possibility of an illicit transplant.
Singh, of Nuneaton in Warwicks, was cleared of facilitating the trade of organs, although he discussed the illegal trade from live donors in India during a secretly recorded meeting.
He was found guilty of failing to discuss the dangers of non-gene-related transplants and admitted agreeing to send the “father’s” medical records to India for such a transplant.
The reporters, Paul Samrai and Neville Thurlbeck, had been given his telephone number by the widow and son of Darsha Sandhu, 69, a businessman who died after undergoing an illegal transplant in India.
In the consultation at Hillfields Medical Centre in Coventry, Singh discussed the price of a transplant and advised them to fly the donor to Britain from India.
Professor Robert Dixon, chairman of the hearing, said: “The council regards it as unethical and improper for a doctor to take part in the trading of organs or in the transplantation of organs obtained from donors whose consent has been given as a result of any undue influence.”
In the recordings, Singh expressed surprise at Sandhu’s death and explained that £2,000 was generally the going rate to a Third World donor for a kidney, although the price could be higher.
Asked how long it would take to find a living donor he is heard to reply: “It is often chance or luck. The thing is that they will know that you are a genuine person, number one.”
The Daily Telegraph