Central Bill against Assisted Reproductive Technology misuse

Central Bill against Assisted Reproductive Technology misuse

"To prevent the misuse of technology, a Bill on Assisted Reproductive Technology is currently being examined by the Law Ministry," Azad said while inaugurating the Fourth World Congress on Mild Approaches in Assisted Reproduction.

Expressing concern at the global rise in infertility, Azad said 15 per cent of couples in the country suffered from the problem.Many infertile couples in the country were compelled to visit quacks owing to the costs of Assisted Reproductive Technology and also because most of the clinics providing the service were located in the big cities, Azad said.

He said it was unfortunate that many clinics were using Assisted Reproductive Technology to produce male children although it was prohibited under the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex-Selection) Act.

"Also, the commercial exploitation of the technology is common. Thus many couples go for renting of wombs (for surrogate births)," he said.

Most of the reasons for infertility, however, are known to be preventable and amenable to treatment, Azad said.

He paid rich tributes Dr Subhas Mukherjee, who carried out the country's first successful in-vitro fertilisation but ended his life owing to a sceptic professional fraternity and government apathy, he said.

"We as a country and a state failed to recognise his achievement. The lesson to be learnt is that doctors and scientists should be prompt in publishing their findings in scientific journals," he said.

Describing Mukherjee as a role model for other scientists, Azad expressed satisfaction that the ICMR has instituted an award after the late doctor.

Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee called upon scientists and doctors to take the fruits of their research to the people.

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