- Recently the Union Cabinet has approved the Assisted Reproductive Technology Regulation Bill, 2020 to monitor medical procedures used to assist people to achieve pregnancy.
What is ART?
- Assisted reproductive technology (ART) is used to treat infertility.
- Assisted reproductive technology includes medical procedures used primarily to address infertility.
- This subject involves procedures such as in vitro fertilization, intracytoplasmic sperm injection, cryopreservation of gametes or embryos, and/or the use of fertility medication.
About the ART bill:
- National Board: The Bill provides for a national Board which will lay down a code of conduct to be observed by those operating clinics.
- Standardization: It will also formulate minimum standards for laboratory and diagnostic equipment and practices to be followed by human resources employed by clinics and banks.
- National registry: Under the proposed law, a national registry and registration authority will maintain a database to assist the national Board to perform its functions.
- Confidentiality clause: The Bill will also ensure confidentiality of intending couples and protect the rights of the child.
- India has one of the highest growths in the number of ART centres and ART cycles performed every year.
- India has become one of the major centres of this global fertility industry, with reproductive medical tourism becoming a significant activity.
- This has also introduced a plethora of legal, ethical and social issues; yet, there is no standardisation of protocols and reporting is still very inadequate.
- The Bill thus proposes stringent punishment for those who practise sex selection; indulge in sale of human embryos or gametes and those who operate rackets.