The story of an elderly woman becoming a mother has raised the debate on "inhuman and immoral medical practices." India has become a preferred destination for medical tourism. Fertility industry yields over 4.4 billion euro per year. Clinics that allow the in vitro treatments and offer surrogacy services are scattered throughout the country.
Mumbai (AsiaNews) - A number of Indian medical associations have decided to form a scientific committee to outline guidelines on medical practices. The decision came in the aftermath of the affair that shook global public opinion concerning an Indian woman who gave birth to her first child at the age of 72 thanks to IVF.
Dr. Pascoal Carvalho, a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, told AsiaNews: "The birth of this child is the result of the globalization of indifference and raises serious ethical and moral issues. The medical profession has been reduced to a marketing blitzkrieg".
Trade associations, such as the Isar (Indian Society of Assisted Reproduction) and FOGSI (Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecological Societies of India), has called for government intervention to put a brake on "inhuman and immoral health practices". Doctors also complain about the slowness of the legislative process of the Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Bill, which languishes in Parliament.
The doctors, including over 2,500 experts in Isar alone, have spoken out against the story of Daljinder Kaur, 72, and her physician, Dr. Anurag Bishnoi, who runs a clinic in Haryana State offering fertility treatments even to postmenopausal women.
The story of the oldest mother in the world was leaked last week. In April, Ms. Kaur gave birth to her first child named Arman ( "desire" in Hindi), born after 46 years of marriage with her husband Mohinder Singh Gill, 79 years old. The couple had never agreed to adpotion, as decided to undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF) after seeing an advertisement by the clinic.
Dr. Carvalho believes that "the woman was a mere tool to showcase the doctor’s technology and skill and dangerously was a subtle way to entice younger women to opt for IVF as being safe without medical risks".
Dr. Duru Shah, president-elect of the Isar, says: "In such cases, the chances of medical complications are very high. In addition to not accepting these patients, it is important that specialists provide them with advice on the subject. "
According to the doctor, the Medical Council of India (MCI) has to draw up very specific guidelines, such as is the case with adoption. "There are age limits for those who wish to adopt - he says - and the same must be done for assisted fertilization." The MCI ethics committee will convene on May24 and 25. "The particulars of that meeting - he says - must also contain the limit of 48 years for pregnancies, beyond which treatment will not be allowed. It is important that the child spends years living with their parents".
Dr. Carvalho concludes "India is a favored destination for medical tourism- specifically to seek IVF treatment and Surrogacy The Indian IVF sector accounts to around five billion dollars and has around 500 plus IVF clinics across the country. Regrettably and dangerously, devoid of formal regulations, even though there are serious legal, moral and ethical concerns, this thriving medical-technological industry is flush for legal manipulations and corruption".