The recent news of a 74-year-old woman from Andhra Pradesh, who delivered twins following IVF has left the medical community in awe and shock. Few see it as a great achievement but many see it as grossly unethical to allow a 74-year-old woman to undergo IVF. The main argument rests on the premise that Parenting is not just about giving birth, it is also about taking care of your children. Adding to that, late pregnancy also increase pregnancy complications risk multifold.
Doctors from the Indian Society for Assisted Reproduction (ISAR), Indian Fertility Society, and the Academy of Clinical Embryologists have issued a joint statement, rebuking the hospital for its decision.
“We are deeply appalled in knowing about such unprofessional conduct of some health providers in misusing the current ART procedures. It is deplorable omission of ethics, morality and misuse of the Assisted Reproductive Technologies,” reads the letter.
Citing a section of the Artificial Reproductive Technology (ART) Bill, 2017, the statement also adds that ART should not be made available to women below the age of 18 and above the age of 45.
“This isn’t a random number, if you look at the rules and regulations for couples in India who are looking to adopt a child, there is a rule that the combined age of the parents cannot be more than 100. This is to ensure that the child is taken care of in case of the loss of life of one of the parents,” explains Dr M Gouri Devi, president of the Indian Fertility Society (IFS).
According to the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), a combined age of upto 90 years is permitted for a couple adopting children up to the age of 4. Those with a combined age of 100 can adopt a child above 4 years of age and up to 8 years of age, while 110 years old is an acceptable combined age for anyone looking to adopt a child over the age of 8 and under 18.
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