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ART bill should be revisited to check unethical practices in fertility treatments: Experts


ART bill should be revisited to check unethical practices in fertility treatments: Experts

Experts on Thursday recommended that the bill on assisted reproduction be revisited to check unethical practices during fertility treatments and the rampant commercialisation of the in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) procedure. Recently, a 74-year-old woman in Andhra Pradesh had given birth to twin girls, sparking controversy over the use of such treatments on older women.

As per the Assisted Reproductive Technology Bill 2017, which calls for a national framework for supervision and regulation of ART clinics that treat infertility and offer surrogacy services, these procedures should not be carried out on women under 18 years and above 45 years. "The government needs to revisit the bill urgently. Due to a lack of strict regulation through ART laws, we are witnessing a surge in unethical practices and rampant commercialisation of IVF.

"I also strongly recommend that the ART should not be made available to women below the age of 18 and above the age of 45," said Dr Archana Dhawan Bajaj, Gynaecologist, Obstetrician and IVF Expert, Nurture IVF Centre. IVF at advanced ages come with risks of pregnancy loss, fetal anomalies, stillbirth, and obstetric complications. It is also associated with medical co-morbidities in mother like hypertension, diabetes and heart problems. It poses risks to both mother and child, she added.

Indian Fertility Society (IFS) secretary general Pankaj Talwar appealed to health professionals to abstain from unethical practices which might risk the lives of patients, offsprings and future generations. "We, as reproductive health professionals, have a great responsibility towards society and couples. The ART should not be made available to women below the age of 18 and above the age of 45," Talwar said.

In India, currently, there is no prohibition on the medical procedures being conducted on women in these age groups. "The ART has come as a boon for infertility treatment. However, this needs to be used ethically and we need to keep both the health and social aspects of the patient in mind," Dr Anoop Gupta from Delhi IVF Fertility Research Centre said.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has been making efforts to put in place regulations and it drafted the ART bill. Fertility experts urged ICMR to take urgent action for re-introduction of the bill in Parliament.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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