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Mitras Ethics Case Study

The existing Act regarding termination of pregnancy known as MTP Act, provides for abortion of the foetus when the pregnancy is 12 weeks to 20 weeks. It is allowed if two doctors certified that the growth of the foetus is abnormal and the child born will have severe defects. The law prohibits termination of pregnancy after 20 weeks. But as an exception it allows termination after 20 weeks if there is a threat to the life of the woman. There have been many instances in which the deformity of the foetus is detected only after 10 weeks of pregnancy, many individuals, organizations are asking for amendment in the act to include not only the health of the woman but also the status of the foetus on the reason for termination after 20 weeks. However, the government is reluctant to relax the 20-week cap on termination of pregnancy.

The government has argued that in India female foeticide and infanticide are big problems. Any relaxation on the present 20-week cap on account of foetus abnormality will lead to its misuse.

You are a health administrator; the matter is pending the court. The court has sought your advice on the issue. What advice will you render on this crucial issue?

20 marks / 250 words.


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