HC allows termination of cancer patient’s pregnancy

CHANDIGARH: Finding himself in a situation where he had to choose between his cancer-patient wife’s treatment and an unborn child, a husband has moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking medical termination of pregnancy.

HC allows termination of cancer patient’s pregnancy

editorial@tribune.com

Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 9

Finding himself in a situation where he had to choose between his cancer-patient wife’s treatment and an unborn child, a husband has moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking medical termination of pregnancy.

Taking up the plea and after going through the patient’s medical reports, Justice Tejinder Singh Dhindsa of the High Court has requested PGIMER Director to get the pregnancy of the petitioner’s wife terminated under the supervision of the Head of (Obstetrics and Gynecology) Department. “Needless to observe all necessary facilities for undertaking such procedure be afforded in favour of the patient,” Justice Dhindsa added.

Counsel for the petitioner had earlier submitted that the petitioner’s wife was having a brain tumor. It was surgically removed on September 6. Surgical pathology report indicated malignancy. Another document placed on record indicated that the petitioner’s wife could not be given radiation on account of the pregnancy.

Allowing the petition, Justice Dhindsa observed the period of gestation was 26 weeks and four days as per the ultrasound done on December 5. The report, reproduced in the order, added the ultrasound showed single live intrauterine healthy foetus likely to be born alive if termination was done immediately

Justice Dhindsa further observed the Medical Board co-opted a consultant from the Department of Radiotherapy. After evaluation of the pros and cons of continuing with the pregnancy in relation to risk of her life due to the on-going medical condition-cancer, the permanent medical board recommended medical termination pregnancy at the current stage so as to facilitate the initiation of treatment of radiotherapy.

Justice Dhindsa added that the clear opinion given by the permanent medical board constituted at the PGIMER was that continuation of pregnancy may not be feasible as the mother’s tumor could not be treated by way of radiotherapy otherwise.

Justice Dhindsa said: “Such view has been expressed by the medical board after associating a consultant from the Radiotherapy Department as well. There would be no basis for this court not to accept recommendations made by the board.”

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