Doctors petition SC against ban on commercial surrogacy

  • Bhadra Sinha, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Aug 05, 2015 00:25 IST
Spurt in the number of IVF clinics and lack of regulation has given rise to unscruplous practices. (Illustration: Jayanto)

The Indian Society for Assisted Reproduction (ISAR) has moved an application before the Supreme Court asking it not to quash a notification under which trading of “human embryo” is allowed. In the absence of a legislation to regulate surrogacy, doctors and couples wanting surrogate children take refuge under the 2013 notification.

“There are hundreds of surrogates who have started their own small scale businesses like catering, beauty parlours, food joints and sewing coaching classes. They now own houses, their children study in English medium schools, their husbands have bought passenger rickshaws and their social status is markedly raised,” the society stated.

The petitioner claims to be a representative body of several scientists, doctors and research experts engaged in the field of assistive reproduction for childless parents. It has protested against advocate Jayashree Wad’s petition asking the court to strike down the 2013 notification.

Wad has contended that trading of human embryo under the Foreign Trade (Development and Regulations) Act is opposed to public policy, unethical and violates the principle of doctrine of reasonableness. “Embryo is a life in the miniature form and cannot be considered as goods,” Wad has contended.

A bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi posted the application for hearing to September 15 as it asked the Centre to file its response to Wad’s petition. The court also asked the Medical Council of India (MCI) to file an affidavit on whether it was ethical for doctors to promote surrogacy.

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