Saturday, August 23, 2008

Are you with the parents this time?

The Bombay High Court refused permission to abort a 26-week foetus with a serious heart defect after rejecting the mother's plea to terminate the pregnancy in a case torn between trauma and ethical issues.

Dismissing an application by Niketa Mehta, the court observed that medical experts did not express any "categorical opinion that if the child is born it would suffer from serious handicaps."

Considering the defects as they are now, experts are not sure whether cardiac surgery would be required at or after birth, court said.

The court noted that even if the couple had approached before 20 weeks it would not have been possible to allow abortion, as the medical opinion was contrary.

Mehta sought an amendment to the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act so that pregnancy can be terminated even after 20 weeks if doctors believe that the child, if born, will have serious abnormalities, so as to render it handicapped.

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