National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission
Context: A Delhi hospital has been ordered by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) to pay a fine of ₹1.5 crore for negligence and unethical practices.
What does Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) mean?
- The hospital had mistakenly used donor semen that did not belong to the person during an in vitro fertilization procedure.
- There is a need to make it mandatory for Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) centres to issue DNA profiling of babies born through ART procedures.
- The commission has conveyed this to the National Medical Council and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
- NCDRC has observed that mushrooming of IVF clinics has made unethical practices rampant in India.
|About National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC):
- ART includes all fertility treatments in which both eggs and embryos are handled.
- In general, ART procedures involve surgically removing eggs from a woman’s ovaries, combining them with sperm in the laboratory, and returning them to the woman’s body.
- This mainly includes In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF), ICSI, cryopreservation of gametes (egg or sperm) or embryos, PGT (Preimplantation Genetic Testing).
- Through these procedures, many couples with otherwise untreatable infertility have given birth to healthy babies.
- In Vitro Fertilization (IVF):
- IVF is a method of assisted reproduction in which the woman’s eggs and man’s sperms are fertilised outside the body in a laboratory dish, which is why it is also called a ‘test tube baby’.
- One or more of these fertilised eggs (embryos) are then transferred in the woman’s womb, so that they can stick in the uterine lining and grow.
- Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI):
- This is a special technique that is most useful for male factor infertility where the sperm count or quality is very poor.
- This mainly involves the same initial steps as for IVF, except that for the process of fertilisation, a special needle is used to inject the sperms inside the egg.
- Cryopreservation of Gametes/Embryos:
- Cryopreservation or freezing is a technique in which the embryos, eggs and sperms are frozen in liquid nitrogen at -196 degree centigrade for prolonged periods.
- This is very useful for couples undergoing IVF treatment who have spare embryos left after the embryo transfer.
- Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGT)
- It is an early form of prenatal genetic diagnosis where abnormal embryos are identified.
- This enables the identification and selection of genetically healthy embryos, thus improving the chances of a healthy pregnancy.
- This technique is a boon for couples who are either carriers of or suffer from genetic disorders that can be passed to their offspring.