A Covid-19 patient died in Vadodara, Gujarat, two days after high court allowed wife to collect his sperms.
The hospital had informed us that they had extracted the sperm of my client’s husband shortly after the high court gave a go-ahead for it on Tuesday evening. But he passed away on Thursday. Further hearing in the case is scheduled today.
Petition by Wife:
A woman – whose husband was on life support at Sterling Hospital after suffering from multi-organ failure following coronavirus infection – moved the Gujarat High Court on Tuesday. The woman said she wanted to have the man’s child through In Vitro Fertilisation method (IVF) or Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) procedure but he was not in a condition to give consent for the collection of his sperm.
In her plea, she said that the doctors had informed the family that chances of survival for the patient were slim, and thus she approached the court after the hospital demanded a legal order to collect his sperm.
The woman submitted before the court that her husband had been admitted in Critical Care Unit at the Vadodara based hospital since May 10, 2021 after acute COVID-19 symptoms and that his condition was worsening day-by-day.
Gujarat High Court
The bench of Justice Ashutosh J. Shastri in view of extraordinary circumstances of the condition of the husband permitted the petition to be allowed. Granting an urgent hearing to the woman, Justice Shastri had directed the hospital to collect the man’s sperm and store it immediately. In its order on Tuesday, the high court said,
Interim relief is granted in an extraordinary urgent situation and it shall be subject to the outcome of the petition.
Statement by Hospital
Anil Nambiar, zonal director at Sterling Hospitals where the patient was admitted, told the media that the doctors successfully extracted sperm of the patient within hours of receiving the court’s order. He quoted,
The patient’s family decided to carry out the procedure but we needed the consent of the individual on whom the process is to be carried out. Since he is critical and cannot give his consent, we could do so only if the court allowed.
Update As On August 1
The Gujarat High Court while disposing this petition noted in an order dated July 29 that since the same has now been done, there is “no legal impediment which would prevent” the woman to undergo the IVF procedure to bear a child through the sperm of her now deceased husband.
Similar Case – 2019
A similar case had been reported in 2019 where a family court in Maharashtra allowed a woman’s plea to have a second child with her estranged husband by directing him to donate his sperm for IVF. Nanded Court order had come two years after the husband sought divorce from the woman on the grounds of cruelty, while the wife filed a complaint against him under Section 498A (cruelty by husband or his relatives) of the IPC.
The former partners already had a seven-year-old son who was in his mother’s custody. Both parties were then preparing the grounds for further legal proceedings.
The husband’s lawyer, M.A. Rahman Siddiqui, then said they would challenge the order in the Bombay High Court on the argument that it was a violation of his client’s fundamental rights. Quoting to The Print, Siddiqui then said,
This judgment is against the well-settled principles of law, because it is settled that no person can be compelled to have sex, directly or indirectly. Directly by physical relations or indirectly by IVF.
If the husband compels his wife to do it against her will, then it is an offence. In addition to this, the Supreme Court has held that even for criminal cases, a blood sample cannot be taken from an accused without his consent.
Meanwhile, the wife’s lawyer, advocate Shivraj Patil, was also set to file a contempt plea against the husband in case he did not comply with the family court’s order.
Read Full Nanded Case Here:
Author: Nandini Shah is a 3rd year Bachelors of Journalism student and currently working as an intern with MDO.
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