Mother's choice is ultimate: Termination of Pregnancy with Fetal Abnormalities :Delhi HC

Mother's choice is ultimate: Termination of Pregnancy with Fetal Abnormalities :Delhi HC

The Delhi High Court granted permission to medically termination of pregnancy to a 33-week pregnant woman on Tuesday.

"The Court comes to the conclusion that the mother's choice is ultimate. Considering this, the Court holds that the medical termination be allowed. The petitioner is permitted to undergo termination immediately at the LNJP Hospital or any other hospital of her choice."

According to Justice Singh, the medical board's opinion in such cases of pregnancy termination is critical for the courts' assistance. "Such opinions cannot be sketchy and fragmented. They ought to be comprehensive in nature," said the judge.

The court went on to say that in such cases, promptness combined with high-quality reports is critical.

"There ought to be some standard factors on which the opinion should be given by the board to whom such cases are referred. Such factors ought include medical condition of the fetus. While giving the scientific or medical terminologies, some explanation in laypersons terms as to the effect of such condition ought to be mentioned. Alternatively, medical literature could be an annexed with opinion."

The court also stated that the right of a pregnant woman to terminate her pregnancy or abort the foetus has been a source of contention around the world.

"This right gives a woman the ultimate choice as to whether to give birth to the child that she has conceived. India is amongst the countries that recognizes this choice of the woman in its law and has even expanded this right in recent time with amendments permitting the termination at an advanced stage under various circumstances," it added.

It passed following directions:
•    The petitioner is permitted to undergo the procedure for medical termination of pregnancy immediately at the LNJP hospital, or the GTB          hospital or an approved medical facility of choice as per Section 4 under the supervision of a properly constituted medical team.
•    Prior to undergoing the procedure for medical termination of pregnancy, the petitioner shall once again be informed of the procedure            being undertaken and her informed consent for the same will be obtained.
•    The petitioner shall undergo to medical termination at your her risk as to the consequences of the same.

The Court was hearing a request for medical termination of pregnancy by a 26-year-old woman who is 33 weeks pregnant.

Given the advanced stage of the pregnancy, the medical board of Delhi's Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan (LNJP) Hospital informed Justice Singh today that the request for termination had been denied.

The judge heard from the hospital's neurosurgeon and gynaecologist on Monday.

According to the neurosurgeon, the child will most likely be disabled but will survive. The doctor added that he cannot predict the child's 'quality of life,' but surgery can be performed to address some of the issues nearly 10 weeks after its birth.

Case Title: Mrs Pooja Kumari v. GNCTD & Anr

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