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Lok Sabha passes Assisted Reproductive Technology Bill

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The Union government had been working on the bill to regulate the ART industry since 2008 when it was first drafted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)

In order to regulate assisted reproductive technology (ART) services such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF) centres, the Lok Sabha has passed the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill, 2020.

The minister told the lower house, “Many such ART clinics have been running in the country without regulation. A need was felt for regulation of such clinics as there are implications on the health of those who undertake the procedure. If there is no regulation, the unethical practices will increase.”

The Union government had been working on the bill to regulate the ART industry since 2008 when it was first drafted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Sharing her views on this, Dr Kaberi Banerjee, MD, Advance Fertility and Gynaecology Centre said, “Infertility is a common stigma in our country. Any act or bill passed by the government should take into consideration that access to treatment is not made difficult. However, of course with the mushrooming of IVF centers, it is a matter of worry that the level of care given to patients and donors must be maintained. Hence this law will ensure that every clinic sets certain standards and patients and donors shall not be taken for any procedure without proper precautions, facilities and concerns.”

“So, on the whole it makes the provision of these facilities safe for the public and standardised. However, again haven’t said that implementation should be done in such a way so that ART services do not get restricted”, she added.

Abhishek Kumar, COO, Crysta IVF added, “The bill shows that once the bill is passed by the Parliament, states and union territories will institute their own boards and authorities to legalize and administer the clinics, within three months of its notification by the central government. The bill also recommends the formation of a national registry and registration authority to uphold a record of all ART clinics and medical professionals practicing in this domain. It further seeks strict punishment for those practicing gender selection, sale of human embryos or gametes, or found running agencies, rackets and organisations for such things in violation of the law.”

“As per the adoption rules of 2017, single men will not be eligible for adopting a girl child and thus, they won’t be able relish the benefits of this bill”, he added.

Dr Prof. (Col.) Pankaj Talwar, VSM, Head, Medical Services Birla Fertility and IVF said, “The legislation should help patients by providing them more standardised treatment protocols in India; making more information available for patients so they can make choices about their treatment with full knowledge and understanding.”

“Infertility is a growing problem in India. Out of total population in child bearing age approximately 10-15% suffer from some kind of infertility issue. With increasing awareness, more and more people are coming forward now to explore IVF and fertility treatments”, he added.

 

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