The Delhi High Court on Wednesday allowed a 34-year-old pregnant woman to undergo medical termination of her 23-week pregnancy even though the Medical Board of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) suggested further testing.
A single-judge bench of Justice Rekha Palli upon interaction with the petitioner held as the Medical Board of AIIMS did not dispute the results of ultrasound reports dated September 4, 2021 and the tests suggested by Medical Board of AIIMS would take 5-6 weeks to give results, the court was inclined to allow the medical termination of pregnancy.
Advocate Sneha Mukherjee, appearing on the behalf of the petitioner, informed the court that the petitioner in 2019 had given birth to twins, one of the two infants was suffering from immature lungs and improper blood supply and passed away after 10 months of treatment at hospital, costing the petitioner in excess of Rs 30 lakh and causing grave mental agony to the petitioner.
Advocate Mukherjee argued, if the medical termination of pregnancy is not allowed, the infant would require multiple surgeries and constant medical supervision, which the petitioner would not be able to financially sustain as she is still paying loans taken for her deceased son’s treatment.
Justice Palli interacted with the petitioner and enquired if she was sure about the medical termination of pregnancy, as the doctors were not sure. The petitioner affirmed her consent to the judge and stated, if the medical termination of pregnancy is not allowed it would cause grave mental agony to the petitioner, furthermore, the constant care the unborn infant would require might lead to neglect of her 2-year-old son.
The woman is seeking medical termination of her pregnancy, as her foetus is suffering from various abnormalities including ‘nuchal edema & a bilateral cleft lip and palate’, she has placed on record, an ultrasound report dated September 4, 2021, confirming the same.
On September 7, 2021, the High Court directed the Medical Superintendent of AIIMS to constitute a Medical Board of Doctors to examine the petitioner and furnish its report on the feasibility of the petitioner undergoing medical termination of her pregnancy, within 5 days.
On September 14, 2021, the High Court had adjourned the hearing as the Doctors of Medical Board of AIIMS had stated, they can give their opinion, once certain tests are conducted.
On Tuesday, the High Court had adjourned the hearing as the report furnished by the Medical Board of AIIMS, had not been served to Advocate Mukherjee and the court had granted time to Advocate Mukherjee to go through the same.
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