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Delhi HC: 70-year-old Patient Allowed to have Ultrasound at His Residence

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Delhi High Court Law Insider

Shashwati Chowdhury

Published on: August 8, 2022 at 18:29 IST

In a rare order, the Delhi High Court has given a private hospital permission to transport an ultrasound machine to the home of a 70-year-old who is being treated at home for a debilitating illness.

Permission was granted to Fortis Hospital by the High Court noting that if the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994’s provisions are interpreted in a way that prevents the man from getting essential medical equipments, his right to life will be violated.

The man is being treated at a home ICU for progressive supranuclear palsy, a condition that damages the brain and nerve cells and results in severe problems with balance, mobility, vision, and speech.

He was sent to the hospital for an ultrasound test, but the procedure led to deterioration of his condition, which was informed to the court. His lawyers contended in a petition that was urgently listed before that he cannot be sent to the clinic for an ultrasound in order to remove the infected Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter (PICC) line.

The counsel also contended before the court that the PNDT Act, the rules formed under it, and a notification issued by the Delhi Government in February 2015 prevent him from obtaining a portable ultrasound machine that is necessary immediately to administer the required medical treatment.

His already fragile condition may suffer severe consequences if the PICC line is not urgently replaced, according to the medical reports presented to the court.

The Bench said “The purpose of enacting the PNDT Act was to prevent the misuse of ultrasound machines for sex determination; however, in extraordinary circumstances, the Courts can always make an exception on the use of the ultrasound machinery.”

Therefore, the Court gave decision in favour of petitioner allowing in home ultrasound machine checking.