Shah Rukh Khan sex determination controversy: Indian Medical Association slams actor

SRKThe Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Wednesday slammed Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan over reports that he and his wife were allegedly having a baby boy through surrogacy. 'IMA strongly opposes any attempt or activity for pre-natal determination of sex of foetus,' the association said. 'We strongly feel that public figures like Shah Rukh Khan, who are role models for the youth, should set a precedent by their good acts and refrain from such illegal activities,' it said. 'A proper investigation should be done in this regard. Suitable legal action should be initiated not only on the guilty medical professional, but also the public who approach the doctor for carrying out such a determination,' they said.

According to reports, Khan and his wife, who already have a son and daughter, were planning to have a baby boy through surrogacy. Pre-natal sex determination is illegal in India. A provision for legal action and penalties exist in the PCPNDT act both for the medical professional involved and public who request such an action.

BMC gives actor clean chit

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As the Indian Medical Association were condemning actions the BMC gave the actor a clean chit acquitting him of any wrong-doing and Mumbai's Jaslok Hospital backed up the actor's claims. Earlier, the Indian Radiological and Imaging Associations had questioned how the actor or his camp could've known sex of their child. Earlier, the actor was in the midst of a media storm after one newspaper claimed that he and wife Gauri were having a child via IVF and they'd consulted arch rival Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao's doctor who helped the couple have Azad Rao through surrogacy.

What was all the hoopla about?

In India, the determination of the sex of a foetus is illegal under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act. The Act prohibits the use of all technologies for the purpose of sex selection, regulates prenatal diagnostic techniques and mandates compulsory registration of all diagnostic laboratories, all genetic counselling centres, genetic laboratories, genetic clinics and ultrasound clinics. This is done primarily to combat female foeticide, a huge menace in India and the 2011 Census indicated the female to male ratio is 940:1000.

Ironically, it was Aamir Khan's Satyamev Jayate that made female foeticide a burning topic and forced many states to strengthen their laws to curb this evil practice. The basic essence of these acts is that all forms of sex determination will be illegal so a couple knowing the sex of the child raises some serious questions considering that as far back as February 11 doctors in the state of Maharashtra were suspended for prenatal sex determination.

Also read: Shah Rukh Khan and Gauri Khan: All your questions about IVF and surrogacy answered

This is not the first time the IMA is clashing with Bollywood. Last year, the Indian Medical Association took strong offence to one episode of Aamir Khan's TV show Satyamev Jayate which dealt with medical malpractice. The IMA had demanded that the actor apologise but the Aamir refused to do so and his decision was backed by many including our readers!

With inputs from IANS

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