Ministry wants surrogacy law more comprehensive

The Ministry of Public Health wants the the draft law concerning surrogacy to be more comprehensive as it has consequence on all social aspects and therefore needs to plug all loop holes.

Action from the ministry following the public outcry from the recent cases that hit the headlines.

The draft has been approved by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) but will require the final approval of the 200-member National Legislative Assembly.

Doctor Narong Sahametapat, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Public Health, stated after a meeting with the Department of Health Service Support and the Medical Council of Thailand that he wanted the surrogacy law to be as comprehensive as possible because the matter has direct consequences on social issues in the country.

General medical standards, obstetrics and gynaecology and birth rates are all directly affected and an all encompassing bill will have to be formulated, he said.

Meanwhile the secretary-general of the Medical Council of Thailand  Dr Sampandh Komrit said that he would be holding a meeting to discuss the setting up of an ethicalness subcommittee to oversee surrogacy issues exclusively.

It is expected that the subcommittee be fully operational within the next six months.

He also said that for the doctors involved in the recent cases of commercial surrogacy, they will be facing charges for their conduct.

Furthermore, the Medical Council of Thailand will be holding a meeting on August 29 with all  240 obstetricians and gynaecologists in the country on the issue of commercial surrogacy to see what other improvements can be made to plug all loopholes that have been the cause of all the recent problems.

The NCPO has received the draft bill on surrogacy and after a long and deliberate consideration has given its preliminary approval to make commercial surrogacy a criminal offence.

The draft will await final approval from the National Legislative Assembly which will then be formally endorsed by His Majesty King.

The bill aims to protect children born out of assisted reproductive technology by prohibiting commercial surrogacy and specifies the qualifications needed to become a surrogate mother.

According to the Medical Council of Thailand’s regulations, surrogacy will only be permitted when blood relatives of the couple or intended parents are the surrogates.

In another development, physicians in charge of surrogate boy ‘Nong Gammy’ have allowed him to be taken home after his health showed significant improvement.

Doctors at the Samittivej Hospital in Sri Racha district has allowed ‘Nong Gammys’ mother to take him home after showing significant improvements in his condition. Seven month old ‘Nong Gammy’ was in a healthy condition and the expenses of his treatment have been paid by the Hands Across the Water Foundation based in Australia.

But she however states that she was not willing to answer any questions on matters of the recent past as they were now of little consequence.