AIIMS doctor provides IVF patient's eggs to two women without consent; warned by NMC

The doctor was let off by the National Medical Commission with a warning almost six years after the incident, noting that the doctor has 'contributed immensely' to the field of reproductive medicine

Representational image
Representational image


A doctor of the AIIMS-Delhi's gynaecology department who provided some eggs from a patient undergoing IVF treatment to two women without her consent in violation of ICMR's guidelines has been let off by the National Medical Commission (NMC) with a warning almost six years after the incident.

Issuing the warning on July 18, the NMC noted the doctor has contributed immensely to the field of reproductive medicine.

"In spite of the fact that the act in question was done in good faith to benefit the poor patients without accruing any personal gain, it cannot be denied that prevailing guidelines were violated. So, the doctor is warned to be more careful in future," the order read.

The doctor had appealed to the National Medical Commission after the Delhi Medical Council (DMC) in September last year ordered the suspension of her license for one month.

According to the complaint received by the DMC in 2017, 30 eggs were retrieved from the patient on August 12 of that year for an IVF procedure.

Of these, 14 were taken by the doctor from the embryologist and provided those to two patients without the consent of the woman, said Dr Girish Tyagi, the secretary of DMC.

A disciplinary committee of the DMC investigated the complaint.

Following this, the DMC observed that "sharing a patient's eggs/oocytes is not only illegal, as sharing/donation of such nature is prohibited as per the ICMR guidelines, but also unethical, moreover, when no written consent of the donor as well as recipient as per the guidelines have been made available to the Delhi Medical Council."

The AIIMS in its internal enquiry report dated August 30, 2017, also highlighted the lapses committed by the doctor.

It was also complained to the DMC that the doctor was originally appointed to the Department of Reproductive Biology and then transferred to the gynaecology department against the recruitment rules.

According to the document, the doctor claimed before the DMC that since both her patients had multiple failed IVF cycles in the past, she shared the eggs in the best interest and helped the recipients without comprising with the outcome of the patient from whom the eggs were taken.

While confirming the decision of the disciplinary Committee, the DMC observed that in light of the gravity of the lapse committed by the doctor, the punishment of warning awarded by the disciplinary committee "will not serve the interest of justice".

"Hence, the council directs that punishment awarded be enhanced and the name of the doctor be removed from State Medical Register of the Delhi Medical Council for a period of 30 days," the DMC stated in its September 19, 2022, order.

The doctor then appealed to the NMC on October 3 seeking the quashing of the Delhi Medical Council order.

"The committee under the DMC failed to differentiate the bona fide case of egg sharing granted in ICMR guidelines followed at that time with allegations of clandestine stealing of eggs made in the anonymous complaint.

"The complex procedure of egg retrieval, fertilisation and sharing was done by the entire IVF team in consultation with all stakeholders, including the treating physician and was recorded in the lab documents in a transparent manner known to all," the doctor had said in her appeal to the NMC.

The Ethics and Medical Registration Board of the National Medical Council held a meeting on October 18, last year, and accepted the appeal while granting a stay on the DMC order.

Following an enquiry by the board and a hearing on May 24, the NMC let off the doctor with a warning.

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