Indian radiology association secretary suspended for fetal sex determination test

March 29, 2010

A regional secretary of the Indian Radiology and Imaging Association and two other doctors were accused of conducting sex determination tests on decoy patients, according to an article in the Times of India.

A regional secretary of the Indian Radiology and Imaging Association and two other doctors were accused of conducting sex determination tests on decoy patients, according to an article in the Times of India. This incident indicates a fresh clampdown on Indian radiologists by the authorities. Conveying the sex of a fetus is illegal in India under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act of 1994 .

Dr. Basant Kishore Vyas, the Secretary of the Rajasthan State Chapter of the Indian Radiology and Imaging Association (IRIA), Dr. Maya Sharma, and Dr. Madhurani Jain will be suspended for their actions as well as have their practice licenses revoked, according to the article. In addition, the ultrasound machines and all related documents were seized by state Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act (PC-PNDT) investigators.

The Secretary General of IRIA, Dr. Rajesh Kapur said if the allegations against Vyas are true, the association will initiate strict action against him.

PC-PNDT aims to prevent the misuse of ultrasound for the purpose of sex-selective abortions, which mainly target female fetuses. The act has been a point of contention for Indian radiologists who argue it penalizes many law-abiding citizens. Many get snared for minor infractions such as forgetting a signature on a form, according to Prof. Kishor Taori, president of IRIA. Despite the stringent guidelines, Taori said recently IRIA will “strive hard for strict implementation of PC-PNDT Act without causing any harassment to our honest doctors.”

He and other radiologists cite anecdotal evidence of heavy-handed, even corrupt, officials cashing in on busy ultrasound clinics with large clinical workloads.

As Diagnostic Imaging previously reported, a New Delhi-based PNDT Act committee of radiologists is working on improvements to the wording of the act, and a proposal for guidelines to be applied by those enforcing it. Specialists involved in obstetric imaging should be free to carry out their work unhampered, with lighter penalties, such as warnings, and a chance to rectify mistakes for less serious paperwork errors, according to one source.