Plea in HC for free treatment to genetic disorder patient

A plea was filed on Thursday in the Delhi High Court by a street vendor seeking directions for free treatment to his two-year-old son, suffering from Gaucher's disease, a genetic disorder.

IANS| Last Updated: Feb 27, 2015, 00:48 AM IST

New Delhi: A plea was filed on Thursday in the Delhi High Court by a street vendor seeking directions for free treatment to his two-year-old son, suffering from Gaucher's disease, a genetic disorder.

The father moved the high court after he was denied treatment by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) as he was unable to pay Rs.4.75 lakh per month for his son Shiv's enzyme replacement therapy.

The plea, likely to come up for hearing Friday, also raised the question as to whether the government hospital is duty-bound under the constitution to give free treatment to all patients who cannot afford expensive medicines.

Advocate Ashok Agarwal, filing the petition for Vikas Sahu, said Sahu is a street-vendor of steel utensils earning around a meagre Rs 3,000 a month but is the sole bread earner for his family including his wife, parents and son Shiv.

Gaucher's disease is a genetic disorder which causes fat to accumulate in cells and certain organs and is characterised by bruising, fatigue, anaemia, low blood platelets and enlargement of the liver and spleen. Some forms of Gaucher's disease may be treated with enzyme replacement therapy.

"Shiv was diagnosed with the deadly disease about six months back. He is in a critical condition with hepatosplenomegaly (enlargement of liver and spleen) resulting in protrusion of abdomen so much so that the child is finding it difficult to breathe... He also has a stone in the kidney to worsen his situation," said the plea.

The plea added that the kid was recently admitted to AIIMS on Feb 10 and discharged on Feb 17 . He has received blood and platelets transfusion at least four to five times so far. The doctors have recommended urgent initiation of enzyme replacement therapy to save his life, the plea said.

However the cost for Shiv at his present weight is estimated at Rs.4.75 lakh per month and would increase with increase in his weight, it added.