A private hospital in Vadodara collected and stored the semen of a man suffering from multi-organ failure due to post-Covid complications on Wednesday, a day after the Gujarat High Court granted “ad interim aid” to his wife on her petition that she wanted to give birth to his child through assisted reproductive technology (ART).
The 32-year-old man, who was hospitalized for Covid-19 on May 10, is ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) support. The couple has been married for more than eight months.
The woman filed the petition Monday after doctors at Sterling Hospital in Vadodara, where he is being treated, reportedly informed the family that he “may not survive more than 24 hours”. The patient’s wife and parents had requested an urgent hearing through their counsel, Nilay Patel, on Tuesday.
According to the petition, hospital authorities told the family they needed a court order to collect and store the semen as the patient was unconscious and unable to give informed consent. Patel argued that the hospital’s verbal refusal violated the patient’s wife’s rights.
Since the man was unconscious, the court agreed that obtaining his consent was “almost impossible”. In view of the “extraordinary circumstance”, the court ordered the hospital director “to perform an IVF/ART procedure for the collection of samples from the body of (the patient) … and the said sample will be be kept in a suitable place according to the medical advice”.
The court noted that the “ad interim injunction” was granted “in an extremely urgent situation” and that it is “subject to the outcome of the petition”. The case will be heard on July 23.
“The family is traumatized and they want to save the sperm so that his wife has the opportunity to have a child after the Supreme Court concludes the hearing on July 23. They have been married for eight months. During his Covid treatment, he developed bilateral pneumonia and multi-organ failure. The hospital complied with the court order and kept the sperm on Wednesday,” Patel . said The Indian Express.
The Zonal Director of Sterling Hospital, Anil Nambiar, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jyoti Patankar, and Medical Administrator Dr. Mayur Dodiya said on Wednesday that the hospital had collected the patient’s semen and kept it in a lab in the city.
“Considering that recovery from the patient’s current state of multi-organ failure was nearly impossible, the same was passed on to the family. The hospital is not in a position or legally authorized to extract a person’s semen without their express consent. By the time the Supreme Court order was received, the process was complete and the sperm had been saved for the family to continue IVF treatment in the future. We are all with the family at this difficult time,” the hospital said in a statement on Wednesday.
According to a family friend, the couple got married in October 2020 and are based in Canada. They returned to India in March this year after the man’s father suffered a serious heart condition.