MTP @ 24 Weeks – Thanks to the Apex Court and Kudos to Medicos

In the 2nd case of its kind, the Hon. Apex Court has interpreted the Law beyond the textbook and set the ordeal of the young couple to an end.
MTP @ 24 Weeks – Thanks to the Apex Court and Kudos to Medicos
Facts in Shorts :
1. The Petitioner No.1 approached the hon. Apex Court as a last resort for getting permission to undergo MTP @ 24 weeks, as as per current law, MTP cannot be done after 20 weeks.

2.She apprehended danger to her life, having discovered that her fetus was diagnosed with Anencephaly i.e. a defect that leaves foetal skull bones unformed and is both untreatable and certain to cause the infant’s death during or shortly after birth. This condition is also known to endanger the mother’s life.

3. Initially she was not allowed to undergo MTP after it was found that the fetus is with anomalies. Hence she had no other alternative but to approach Hon. Apex Court.(W.P. (Civil) No.17/2017)

Held :
1. Their Lordships considering the need of an hour gave a direction on 11/01/2017 for examination of the petitioner no.1 by a Medical Board consisting of the seven expert Doctors from different fields.
2. The Board physically examined the petitioner on 12/01/2017 and gave its report mentioning inter alia there in that the fetus is without a skull and would, therefore, not be in a position to survive and it was also brought to the notice of their lordships that the Petitioner- Mother is in sound state of mind and understands the abnormality of fetus and the Support of HUSBAND Was also recorded and the Board concluded that the fetus would not be able to survive outside the uterus.
3. The Court further held that the continuation of pregnancy will be dangerous to the life and limb ofthe the petitioner -mother.
4. it relied upon the observations of its previous judgment in the case of Suchita Srivastava and Anr. vs. Chandigarh Administration [(2009) 9 SCC 1] that right of women to give birth includes right not to give birth. But ironically, in Suchia’s case, the MTP was not allowed, even though the rape victim was mentally challenged and this judgment was criticised heavily.Be that it is.
5. The Apex Court directed that MTP to be performed by the Doctors of the hospital where the Petitioner has undergone medical check-up.

This is indeed a very important judgment and again emphasises the dire need to suitably amend the MTP Act. It is not that every such person will get an opportunity to approach the Apex Court. Every parents want their children to be fit and healthy.If now a days, due to technology it is learnt in advance about the deformities / anomalies of the unborn, then why should not such parents be given an option of MTP ? Of course, role of Doctors will be of great importance in such cases. Slowly, the Courts are taking out of the box approach in MTP cases. Recently the division Bench of bombay High Court ruled that right of MTP is also available to women living in “live-in-relationship”

Last but not the least.. Proper advice is the condition precedent for getting expected reliefs. In present case Dr. Sangeeta Pikale (from Thane) and her Colleagues Doctors and other Team members are instrumental in helping the Petitioner to approach the Apex Court for necessary relief. So kudos to them and kudos to the Medical fraternity.

MTP @ 24 Weeks – Thanks to the Apex Court and Kudos to Medicos

An article by Adv. Rohit Erande,Pune

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