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Pakistan’s top Islamic court legalises ‘test-tube’ babies

PTI | Updated on: Thursday, May 30, 2019, 09:00 AM IST

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Islamabad : In some good news for childless couples with medical complications, Pakistan’s top Shariat court has ruled that using ‘test tube baby’ method for conceiving is “legal and lawful”.

If “the sperm has been obtained from the father and the egg from the mother and the same has been fertilised in the test tube through medical process and the embryo is then placed in the womb of the actual mother… the procedure would be legal and lawful,” the Federal Shariat Court declared on Tuesday. “This process cannot be considered as illegal or against the Injunctions of Holy Quran and Sunnah,” the court said in its 22-page ruling on in-vitro fertilisation (IVF), according to Dawn news.

[alert type=”e.g. warning, danger, success, info” title=””] The court says the procedure would be legal and lawful only if “the sperm has been obtained from the father, the egg from the mother, the same has been fertilised in the test tube and is then placed in the womb of the actual mother”.[/alert]

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The court said, “The reason is that the sperm and the egg belong to the actual father and mother. If the couple agrees to go through the prescribed medical procedure then in that case legally no question can be raised in respect of the birth of the child. The child in such a case, by all means, would be legal and legitimate.”

The court, however, made it clear that any other condition for obtaining a test tube baby would be considered un-Islamic. “In all other cases where a woman is arranged as a surrogate mother for the monetary consideration or some other reason, the whole procedure, as well as the resulting birth of the child, would be illegal and against the injunctions of Holy Quran and Sunnah,” reads the written decision.

The court also directed the government to take action against those involved in anti-sharia practices in this regard.

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The court directed for appropriate amendments in Section 2 of the Contract Act, 1872 and in Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), calling for suggestions in this regard by August 15, 2017.

Infertility is as high as 10 per cent in Pakistan but more than 90 per cent infertility cases are curable if medical treatment in provided, Dr. Mazhar Ahmad told PTI. “Only 10 per cent cases of infertility are incurable and needed external interventions. Legalising the test tube babies may help some of the couples,” he said. In 2013, the Council of Islamic Ideology Pakistan said test tube babies were allowed in Islam but with certain conditions.            —PTI

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Published on: Thursday, February 23, 2017, 08:43 AM IST