The Delhi High Court has allowed the medical termination of a woman’s 28 week-old pregnancy after considering the report of the medical board.

The Court noted that the Medical Board diagnosed the existence of ‘hypoplastic left heart syndrome’ which does not have a positive post-natal prognosis i.e., that after birth the prognosis for the foetus is quite poor.

Thus Justice Prathiba M Singh ordered that “In view of the report of the Medical Board, it is directed that the medical termination of the Petitioner’s pregnancy shall be carried out at AIIMS on 9th March, 2023.”

In this case, the petitioner-woman had approached the Court seeking directions to medically terminate her pregnancy.

The case of the Petitioner is that at 25 weeks of gestational age she underwent ultrasound, wherein for the first time some abnormalities in the foetus were found. Thereafter, she was referred to a foetal medicine expert. Accordingly, a foetal echocardiography was conducted which showed significant foetal abnormalities.

Advocate Anwesh Madhukar appeared for the petitioner whereas ASC Mehak Nakra and Advocate V.S.R. Krishna appeared for Respondents.

The High Court on Friday had directed the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to constitute a medical board to examine the woman. The Court, considering the nature of the abnormalities, had directed AIIMS to constitute a medical board.

The medical board’s opinion was received from AIIMS which recorded that the Ultrasonography and foetal echo which was performed at AIIMS suggested an evolving hypoplastic left heart syndrome with poor postnatal prognosis.

The Court observed that “The report of the medical board is unequivocal to the effect that there is a substantial foetal abnormality. The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 ( MTP Act, 1971) in Section 3 provides for instances when pregnancies may be terminated. A perusal of the provision shows that, under Section 3(2), pregnancy can be terminated under various conditions. The present case would be governed by Section 3(2B) of the MTP Act, 1971 which relaxes the conditions of length of pregnancy. Under Section 3(2B), termination of pregnancies which are beyond 24 weeks can be permitted only if the said termination is necessitated by the diagnosis of “substantial foetal abnormalities” by a Medical Board”

Therefore in view of the report of the Medical Board, the Court directed for medical termination of the Petitioner’s pregnancy.

Cause Title- Mrs A v. GNCTD & Anr.

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