Actor Ayushman Khurana, who plays a sperm donor in his debut flick, Vicky Donor, has ruffled many feathers with his real-life remark — “This is the age of designer babies”.
IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation) clinics are miffed that he used the term ‘designer baby’, and say that he made the insensitive remark to promote his film.
“In 2004, I did it (donated sperm) as part of the reality show, Roadies. I will do it again. This is the age of designer babies. Parents choose donors for a particular trait in their children," he told us in an interview.
“I am shocked that he says that this is the age of designer babies. Creating designer babies is criminal. Khurana has irresponsibly encouraged sperm donation like a profession,” says Dr Rita Bakshi of Adiva clinic. Dr Nandita Palshedkar of La Femme Fortis Hospital says, “This is totally insane. We are not making designer babies but only helping an infertile couple get a child.”
Doctors further argue that Khurana should not talk about medical processes without in-depth knowledge. “It’s silly to use the term ‘designer babies’. No one is designing a baby. Even if we get requests from people who want blue eyes and blonde hair, we turn them down,” says Dr Rishikesh D. Pai of Leelavati Hospital .
Khurana however, says, “If they have a problem with it, so be it. I’ve done my research. I’ll still say this is the age of designer babies.”
What the law says
According to the guidelines issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research, the identity of the donor is kept anonymous. “While collecting sperm samples, we only check medical aspects such as blood group and medical disorders. We are only addressing infertility, and not catering to someone’s fancy,” says Dr Anoop Gupta, Delhi IVF clinic.
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