New Delhi: Dr Anurag Bishnoi, the owner of an IVF clinic at Hisar in Haryana recently got a Delhi resident arrested for seeking a male baby through pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), through which sex selection can be done.
“I was shocked to hear this and informed the police,” Dr Bishnoi has been quoted by ToI as saying.
The incident occurred on June 25 when the accused, identified as Krishnu Aryan Bhola, a resident of Vasant Kunj in New Delhi, reportedly approached Dr Bishnoi seeking sex determination and male child pre-implantation.
According to the local police, Aryan, 49, has two daughters, aged 19 years and 14 years. Soon after his arrest, Aryan was produced before the court that remanded him to judicial custody.
Haryana’s director general of health services (DGHS) Dr Kamla Singh reportedly lauded the efforts of Dr Bishnoi.
Commenting on the incident, Dr M C Gupta, a medico-legal expert based in New Delhi, told India Medical Times, “The PNDT (Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques) Act 1994 has been changed and now it is called as the PCPNDT (Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques) Act where PC stands for pre-conception and PN in the PNDT stands for pre-natal. Pre-natal means before birth; now it’s pre-conceptional and pre-natal which means before or after conception. So, it’s a very nice step that the doctor has informed this to the police and this arrest is very much legal.”
Speaking to India Medical Times, Dr Shivani Sachdev Gour, director of SCI Healthcare, New Delhi, said, “We get many patients who demand for a male child through IVF (In Vitro Fertilization). It’s a misconception that through IVF you will have a male child. There is a technique which is called as pre-implantation genetic screening through which we can tell about the gender as when we implant the embryo through IVF. We do take the biopsy and send it to the laboratory but the laboratory never discloses what it is — ‘XX’ or ‘XY’, no doctor knows this; there are very few laboratories, which do that.”
Dr Gour said, “Many a times patients are fooled as they pay a lot to know the gender or to have a male child. But the truth is that no centre in India does that and it is even illegal. It is not even available in India. Patients should not pay for this; it’s not something that the doctor did. If it’s a male child it’s going to be a male child anyway or same is true in a female child case.”
According to Dr Gour, “Patients should not get fooled; they should not pay extra, whatever the sex they get is out of their luck it is not because of anything else.
And it is a non-bailable crime as per the PCPNDT Act, though patients keep asking about it.”
“I have a list and I have submitted it. These patients keep asking for it. They never understand it’s a crime what they are asking, as per the PCPNDT Act. People who ask for a male child are neglecting their daughter; they are ready to kill their daughter. But it is the first time that a person has been caught,” she said.
She further said, “When I was working in UK, a lady was jailed for five years for terminating her daughter. So, whatever the police did was very good. I hope this sends a message to everybody that you cannot determine the sex of your child and if you ask for it you will be jailed, so look after your daughter.”
Dr Gour added, “Earlier we used to get a request (for a male child) every day, then we started saying that if you ask for it you will be jailed; after we stared using the word ‘jail’ now we get less patients asking for it.”
Commenting on the incident, Dr Shridhar Dwivedi, senior consultant cardiologist, National Heart Institute, New Delhi, told IMT, “Ethically, morally and even socially, it is not right especially when someone is already having a daughter. Nowadays daughters do very well; they perform very well; they are more loyal and contributing more to the nation.”
“Such people (who ask for a male child) are ignorant, as per the norms of the present society. They are only guided by their old notion that says, ‘lets have a son rather than the daughters’. Now in the modern world, daughters are more beneficial to the parents. Elderly parents are well looked after by the daughters than by the son,” Dr Dwivedi added.
by Pooja Pandey