India was surveyed by the students of Bryant University, RI, USA. Last update: March 2009. Any peer review of data is welcome.

Monitoring freedom of research and cure in INDIA Table of content: A. Artificial reproduction technologies (ART) B. Research with human embryonic stem cells (hESC) C. End-of-life decisions D. Abortion and contraception A. Artificial reproduction technologies (ART) After extensive research, we can conclude that India is somewhat liberal on prenatal genetic diagnosis. Prenatal genetic diagnosis is permissible in India but is subject to certain guidelines and limiting circumstances. In India, this technique is covered by the ban on pre-natal diagnostic techniques – except where the test is used to avoid sex-linked genetic diseases like Tay-Sachs disease, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease, Huntington’s Chorea, and Cooley’s anemia. It is well known that the obsession with male children has led to a tremendous imbalance in the sex ratio in many parts of the country. In response, the government banned sex selection through the use of pre-natal diagnostic techniques; before this law was passed in 1994, many female fetuses just did not stand a chance. It was hoped that by deterring doctors from performing these tests, the incidence of female feticide would reduce. As far as sperm, embryo, and cryopreservation, India has a few guidelines pertaining to these practices. Use of a cryopreserved oocyte, sperm or embryo donated by a relative or known friend of either the wife or the husband shall not be permitted. It will be the responsibility of the ART clinic to obtain such specimens from appropriate banks; neither the clinic nor the couple shall have the right to know the donor identity and address, but both the clinic and the couple, however, shall have the right to have the fullest possible information from the specimen bank on the donor such as height, weight, skin color, educational qualification, profession, family background, freedom from any known diseases or carrier status, ethnic origin, and the DNA fingerprint, before accepting the donor specimen. It will be the responsibility of the bank and the clinic to ensure that the couple does not come to know the identity of the donor. The ART clinic will be authorized to appropriately charge the couple for the specimen provided and the tests done on the donor specimen as well. B. Research with human embryonic stem cells (hESC) With human embryonic stem cell research, India is pretty open. India does not really have many policies with regards to stem cell research because the country is still in the early stages of formulating them. India is pretty liberal with their laws so far and one reason for that is the absence of popular outcry against stem cell research from the people of the country. Although, one major restriction with the research is that no human cloning is allowed and consent and approval of the donor is completely necessary. C. End-of-life decisions As far as end-of-life decisions are concerned, informed consent between the patient and the doctor is very important in India. Also, euthanasia is completely illegal in the country and is punishable under Section 300 Exception 5 of the Penal Code as culpable homicide not amounting to murder. In India, abetment of suicide is punishable under Section 309 of the Penal Code and also attempt to commit suicide itself is also punishable under Section 309. Therefore, doctors in India must be very careful that they take necessary precautions and consent with their patients, while also doing the right thing at the same time. D. Abortion and contraception Overall, the abortion and contraceptive policy in India is liberal. The main reason is to limit over population. The Indian Government will subsidize the abortions and contraceptives due to poverty and poor clinic conditions which result in high death rates for the mothers. Minors may also receive abortions and contraceptives as long as their parents or legal guardians consent. Finally, these products are available over the counter. Missing info on: E. Therapeutic uses of narcotic drugs F. Pain treatments