The Delhi High Court has directed the Medical Superintendent of All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) to constitute a medical board to examine the condition of a 25-week pregnant woman, whose foetus is suffering from serious abnormalities.
A Vacation Bench of Justice Vibhu Bakhru asked the Medical Superintendent to submit his report by January 4 on the condition of the foetus and also the possibility of the foetus not surviving the term of the pregnancy.
The court’s direction came while hearing a petition by a woman seeking permission to undergo medical termination of her 25-week pregnancy on the ground that the foetus was suffering from Bilateral Agenesis and Anlyaramni.
In India, the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act stipulates a ceiling of 20 weeks, for termination of pregnancy, beyond which abortion of a foetus is statutorily impermissible. The plea said during an ultra-sonography, conducted on the woman at the gestational age of 25 weeks, it was discovered that the fetus suffered from Bilateral Renal Agenesis (both kidneys absent) thereby making it incompatible with life.
Since pregnancy had crossed the 20 weeks mark and medical termination of pregnancy now prohibited, the woman approached the court.
The woman’s counsel said that the foetus would not survive till childbirth as both the kidneys have not developed as yet. The counsel said in the circumstances it would be futile to compel the woman to undergo the full terms of pregnancy.