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The Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques Act 2003 (Prohibition of Sex Selection in India - PNDT Act)
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The Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques Act 2003 (Prohibition of Sex Selection in India - PNDT Act)

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  • 1. The Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act 2003
  • 2. Need for a legal initiative
  • 3. Dismal Picture
  • 4. Is Sex selection a health Issue ?
    • Yes, It is as much a health issue, as it is a social issue.
    • Repeated abortions for a SON adversely affect the sexual and reproductive health of women.
    • It also adversely impacts mental health of women as they are normally blamed for their inability to produce a son.
    • Sex selection is also an ethical issue and needs to be viewed in the light of medical ethics.
  • 5. The Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act 2003
    • To provide for the prohibition of sex selection, before or after conception
    • For regulation of pre-natal diagnostic techniques for the purposes of detecting abnormalities or metabolic disorders or chromosomal abnormalities or certain congenital malformations or sex-linked disorders
    • The prevention of their misuse for sex determination leading to female foeticide and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto
  • 6. Pre-natal diagnostic procedures
    • All gynaecological or obstetrical or medical procedures such as:
    • 􀀀 Ultrasonography;
    • 􀀀 Foetoscopy;
    • 􀀀 Taking or removing samples of amniotic fluid, chorionic villi, blood, any tissue, fluid of a man or a woman before or after conception for being sent to a Genetic Laboratory or Genetic Clinic for conducting any type of analysis or pre-natal diagnostic tests for selection of sex before or after conception.
  • 7. Pre-natal diagnostic tests
    • 􀀀 Ultrasonography
    • 􀀀 Test or analysis of Amniotic fluid, Chorionic villi, Blood, Any tissue, Fluid of any pregnant woman or conceptus conducted to detect:
      • 􀀀 Genetic disorders
      • 􀀀 Metabolic disorders
      • 􀀀 Chromosomal abnormalities
      • 􀀀 Congenital anomalies
    • 􀀀 Haemoglobinopathies
  • 8.
    • PNDT can be conducted only by clinics registered under the Act
    Salient Features Of The ACT
    • Use of PNDT only allowed on medical grounds & not for determination of sex
    • No person conducting prenatal diagnostic procedure shall communicate to pregnant women or her relatives, the sex of the foetus by words or signs or any other method
  • 9.
    • Clients and their relatives asking for sex determination are also punishable
    Salient Features Of The ACT
    • Clinics involved in advertisement (conducting sex determination) are liable for punishment
    • Declaration on each report that he/she has neither detected nor disclosed the sex of foetus to pregnant woman or to any body
    • Offence under PNDT are cognizable, non-bailable and non compoundable
  • 10. Registration is Mandatory
    • All bodies under the PC &PNDT Act namely Genetic Counselling Ce ntre, Genetic Laboratory or Genetic Clinic cannot function unless registered
    • The requirement of registration is mandatory whether the body is government, private, voluntary, honorary, part-time, contractual or consultative
  • 11. Procedure for Registration
    • Every application for registration shall be made:
    • To the Chief Medical Officer of the district
    • or any other medical officer constituted as an Appropriate Authority
  • 12.
    • Who is Appropriate Authority under the Act?
    • State Level: Additional Director (Family Welfare)
    • District Level: Civil Surgeon/Medical Officer of Health
    • Taluka Level: Medical Superintendent
  • 13.
    • To seek & consider advise of advisory Committee
    • To grant, suspend or cancel registration
    Functions of Appropriate Authority
    • To enforce standard prescribed and to supervise
    • To investigate complaints and take actions
  • 14. Functions of Appropriate Authority
    • To take actions on recommendations of advisory committee
    • To take appropriate legal actions
    • To initiate independent investigations
    • To create public awareness
  • 15.
    • It is mandatory for everybody registered under this Act to display the certificate of registration at a conspicuous place in such centre, laboratory or clinic.
  • 16. Maintenance of records by USG centers Declaration on each report that he/she has neither detected nor disclosed the sex of foetus. Declaration of pregnant woman that she does not want to know sex of the foetus. Report to be sent by 5th of every month to appropriate authority. Records to be made available to appropriate authority for inspection. All records to be preserved for two years.
  • 17. Powers Of Appropriate Authority Registration/Renewal of registration of Institutions Seal and Seize: if the center is unrecognized. Cancellation or Suspension of Registration Summoning Cognizance of offence – Court shall take cognizance of an offence on complaint made by Appropriate Authority or authorized person
  • 18. Who Can Make A Complaint?
    • The Appropriate Authority concerned
    • Any officer authorized in this behalf by the Central Government or State Government or the Appropriate Authority
    • A person who has given notice of at least 15 days to the Appropriate Authority of the alleged offence and of his intention to make a complaint in the court i.e. if the Appropriate Authority fails to take action on the complaint made by a person, on the lapse of 15 days, that person can directly approach the court
  • 19. Who Can Make A Complaint?
    • Every public spirited person can activate the PC&PNDT law for the violation of the same and he/she can seek the assistance of a lawyer or an NGO. Even a group of persons can file a complaint together
    • The offence under the Act shall be tried only in a court of the Metropolitan Magistrate or a Judicial Magistrate of the First Class
  • 20. Common Arguments
    • It is choice of individual clients, what is wrong if couple choose to have a son?
    • Response : Strong desire to have a son, puts tremendous psychological pressure on women. Obsession for boys can lead to domestic violence, with women bearing the brunt for her inability to produce a male child. This can also lead to desertion and/or bigamy.
  • 21. Common Arguments
    • By Sex selection and elimination of Girls, I would only be increasing their value and position in society?
    • Response: With declining sex ratio, practices like polyandry, selling of brides, violence against women, denial of their basic rights, trafficking of girls, will increase.
    • Declining Sex Ratio in other states have not led to women’s empowerment, on the other hand, instances of violence and crime against women are steadily increasing.
  • 22. Common Arguments
    • Only couples with two or more daughters go for sex selection, therefore it does not affect overall sex ratio?
    • Response: This is misleading.
    • Had this been true, sex ratio of girls would not have gone down drastically.
  • 23. Common Arguments
    • It is more humane to eliminate a female foetus rather than subjugate her to life of discrimination?
    • Response: By this logic, it would be justifiable to eliminate poor & handicapped people. The girl child is not a problem, the practice of sex selection is a problem.
  • 24. Common Arguments
    • As a medical professional, I am not duty bound to talk on social issues?
    • Response : Are we not part of society, and are affected by good or bad practices of society?
  • 25. HOW CAN YOU IMPACT SEX SELECTION?
    • Be vigilant towards misuse of technology and morally pressurize doctors indulging in Sex selection
    • Take initiatives to break silence around this issue
    • Stop sympathizing with perpetrators
    • Counsel vulnerable couples & link with local NGO for community support
    • Value and celebrate the girl child’s life in your family and community
    • Advocate to promote positive image of girl child
    • Strictly Abide by the PCPNDT Act