OHRC seeks report on test tube baby clinics in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha State Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has sought a report from the health department over unregulated Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART/Test tube baby) clinics in the state.

Acting on the petition filed by Akhand, a rights activist and working group member of Civil Society Forum on Human Rights (CSFHR), the Commission has directed the Principal Secretary of Department of Health and Family Welfare of Odisha to inquire the matter and file its response within four weeks.

Assisted Reproductive Technology refers to the medical interventions used to produce offspring in infertile couples. It varies from simple Intra-uterine Insemination (IUI) to complex methods such as In-vitro-Fertilization (IVF) commonly called the test tube baby technique.

Only Two ART clinics out of the six in the state have till now registered with Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). Others are unregistered.

This is the notice issued in 2012 by the ministry of home affairs to get themselves registered with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and also goes against the Union health ministry’s National Guidelines 2005 for Accreditation, Supervision & Regulation of ART Clinics in India which talks about a national registration of human reproductions through ART, said Akhand.

Unregulated and unprofessional ART clinics are flourishing in the state because of the lack of stringent laws and legislation. The unregistered clinics often exploit technology to make a quick buck, he added.

They sometimes indulge in unethical practices such as using gamets from outside without the consent of the parties concerned. The Childless couples are being harassed by exorbitant charges leveled by such infertility clinics. It is a violation of human rights, alleged the petitioner.

Hearing the petition, the acting Chairperson of the Commission Justice B.K.Mishra the health department secretary to inquire the matter and file its report within a month.

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