PCPNDT Act: Doctors don’t want to run into legal hassle, and it's easy
M3 India Newsdesk Nov 24, 2017
The PCP NDT act has some very simple requirements, here is a refresher.
Recently we reported the sealing of a sonography centre and its registration being suspended.The doctor was allegedly conducting gender determination test, which is prohibited under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act.
Read the full story here.
The PCNDT Act is a comprehensive piece of legislation which prohibits sex selection before or after conception and misuse of pre-natal diagnostic techniques for determination of the sex of the foetus, leading to female foeticide as also advertisements in relation to such techniques for detection or determination of sex. The Act also specifies the punishment for violation of its provisions
The PCPNDT Act was enacted with a preliminary object to put a check on female feticide. No doubt the bare perusal of the Act indicates that it is a draconic act from the point of its effect on radiologists/sonologists. The Act does not offer any escape to the erring radiologist/sonologist.There are few shortcomings in the Act but that does not give any reason for non-compliance of or contravention of any of the provisions of the Act. Because, at the same time, it is very simple to fulfil and abide by the requisitions of the Act. The few basic requirements of the Act are:
- To have Registration under the PCPNDT Act.
- Written consent to be obtained from the pregnant woman and prohibition of communicating the sex of fetus of the Act.
- To have maintenance of records as provided under the Act.
- To create awareness among the public at large by placing the board of prohibition on sex determination.
It can be seen that the provisions of the Act are very simple, but non-compliance of the provisions in any manner can lead to unpleasant consequences for a doctor, especially radiologists/sonologists.
The Act penalizes all the errants, either involved in sex determination or non-maintenance of records.
The Act is legislated so as to cause a deterrent effect on those indulging in sex determination. The unfortunate decline in the male-female sex ratio has brought in these stringent measures.
The consequences can be like suspension of registration, filing of criminal cases and sealing of machines. Besides, criminal prosecution will also bring in suspension and cancellation of registration granted by the State Medical Council.
Remedies are also provided–like filing an appeal before the appellate authority and getting the machine released from the court of law, but all these remedial measures are time-consuming and bring the career of an individual to a standstill.
It is advisable to take the precautionary measures to avoid legal hassles.
Precautionary measures like
- maintain records scrupulously,
- fill the Form-F as provided in the Act, accurately and correctly,
- submit the records to the appropriate authority within the stipulated time.
The major contribution by radiologists/ sonologists/ gynecologists towards prevention of female feticide can be achieved by thus fulfilling the mandatory requisitions of the PCPNDT Act.
The recent judgments of the Courts are also supportive of the strict implementation of the PCPNDT Act. Various Medical Associations are fighting tooth and nail to support the cause of the radiologists all over and also to prevent the misuse or improper and erroneous application of the Act by the appropriate authority.
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