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Cal HC absolves doc who violated order by terminating pregnancy of rape survivor

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Kolkata, Feb 9 (PTI) The Calcutta High Court on Friday absolved a doctor, who performed the medical termination of pregnancy of a rape survivor, of any deliberate violation of its order to perform an examination only.

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Expressing displeasure at the medical termination of pregnancy of the woman by a team of doctors, the court had on February 3 sought an explanation from them as to why it was done despite an order to only form a medical board for ascertaining the pros and cons of doing so.

A report was filed before the court on Friday by the doctor who was in charge of the checkup of the petitioner.

Justice Sabyasachi Bhattacharyya noted that as per the report, in view of the petitioner's tremendous labour pain and severe bleeding during the examination, the doctor was compelled, in order to give relief to the patient, to carry out the medical termination process immediately.

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"Keeping in view the humanitarian aspect of the matter and since the doctor did the right thing in seeking to alleviate the pain of the patient, that is, the petitioner, I do not find that any contemptuous act or deliberate violation of the order or dignity of the court has been done," the judge observed.

Justice Bhattacharyya had on January 29 directed the West Bengal government to form a medical board to examine the condition of the rape survivor who wanted to terminate her pregnancy caused by the incident and file a report before the court on February 2.

A report filed by the West Bengal government on February 2 had said that the pregnancy has already been terminated, leading to the court calling for an explanation from the doctors.

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The petitioner's lawyer had submitted before the court that she was suffering grave mental trauma and as such the court may permit the medical termination of the pregnancy which was stated to be between 20 and 24 weeks.

The counsel for the state, while not opposing the prayer, had submitted that as per the petition, the unfortunate incident of rape took place on July 28, 2023 and as such, the pregnancy may be more advanced than pleaded.

Maintaining that the court was not an expert in the field, Justice Bhattacharyya had said that a medical board is required to be constituted to ascertain the pros and cons of medical termination of the pregnancy of the petitioner.

He had directed that the medical board would comprise at least two members, both of whom must be well-established medical practitioners in their respective fields and one of them must be from the field of gynaecology and the other from the field of paediatrics.

The court had directed that the petitioner be examined at the state-run M R Bangur Hospital here. PTI AMR MNB

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