It seems that the biggest group of healthcare Providers in Delhi NCR are feeling the heat , right in midst of the winter !
November was jinxed for FORTIS Group , and December seems to be the MAX Hospital’s turn !
One has apparently ‘ kept a dead Patient on ventilator to fleece money , the other has ‘ certified a baby as dead when it was actually alive’ – the only common thing between the two is these are expert opinions of the kangaroo courts in India run by the media , which hyperventilates and creates panic situations , resort to intellectually lynch mobbing without concrete facts .
This incidence is really deplorable , and at the face of it , going by the sensational headlines of the article that appeared on the front page of TOI , it sounds like gross negligence by a doctor .
But had the TOI reporter done some unbiased and dispassionate research on this news , which actually required just to reach out to any of the Pediatricians / neonatologist of the town , or googled the topic ‘ fetal viability ‘ – the coverage would have been more balanced .
Even journalistic ethics demand that you put both sides of the facts and let people make their own judgement . But in today’s world of jingoistic journalism , any aspect of the news that may steal the sensationalism from it , is conveniently swept under the carpet .
Therefore , for readers of this post , it was necessary for me to put out some very important facts which was not highlighted , with Malefide intentions .
-1) The unfortunate ‘Child ‘ ( I am calling it a child with lot of reservations , as it was at the cusp , better called a fetus technically ) was 22 weeks of gestation , part of a twin delivery where the other was a still born and weight is not mentioned , but if it was below 400grm which is very likely , it is technically considered ‘non viable ‘ ( not fit for survival ) even as per American standards , and they are best not resuscitated .
Any child below the weight of 500 grms has rarely made it to life .
2. In simple words , the ill fated fetus in question was not fit for survival and even by doing any ‘ desperate saving measures ‘ which is against medical ethics , it stood a slim chance as low as 0.5 % .
Such a fetus may have signs of life as twitching movements or heart beat for few hours and very rare cases for one or two days.
just to inform everybody , Activists in India are running a strong campaign to declare 24 weeks as the higher limit of MTP ( medical abortion of fetus) , which is presently only 20 weeks , after enough scientific evidence .
3. Recently, the Supreme Court permitted a rape survivor to terminate her pregnancy at 24 weeks, which is beyond the permissible 20 weeks limit prescribed under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971.
its only fortunate of the Supreme Court judges to have a legal immunity ,otherwise this TOI Reporter would have run a headline accusing the Supreme Court of “Judicial murder of a Child “
3. Nevertheless , In an ideal situation , the circumstances should have been explained to the family and told that if they want , they can take the child or wait in the hospital for the terminal even to happen .
4. Without mincing words , if the Patient party was not explained all that in writing , and handed over the babies , it shows a very callous attitude of the treating doctors , but does it still fulfill the legal parameters o negligence or malpractice , Iam not sure .
5. It is very possible that all the things must have been explained to the patient Party , become delivery of such non viable babies is not so uncommon , and so , doing such a good up is highly irresponsible .
But , Verbally explaining things have no value nowadays , and patients turnaround later and claim ignorance of any such consent given .
Also , sometimes such babies start breathing late , or breath sparsely , so it is tricky to decide how much life is their in the fetus . Especially, such fetus may suffer from hypothermia , which can temporary arrest all life activity , only to come back again when the temperature is raised .
Doctors do not take much trouble in such cases as anyways, it is non viable .
while I say that , I don’t mean to defend the goof up , but it is not such a major mistake as it is being projected , and it can be possible .
Now I give you an another scenario , ( in light of the recent Fortis MRI fiasco ) where the same baby would have been kept in the hosptial , and the Patient party would have kicked a ruckus over “ malpractice by Max by keeping a non viable baby on ventilator or life support for money “ The same journalist from the TOI would have turned the story on its tale , and quoted the medical rules of ‘fetal viability ‘ and blamed MAX Hospital of “malpractice and over billing by keeping a baby who was dead “ .
2. Somebody from the legal fraternity should take suoMoto cognisance of such ‘sensation mongering ‘ newspapers and media houses and make it mandatory to put up both sides of the story without manipulation’s , especially when it is related to medical science , because of its complex nature and lack of knowledge about it among the news reporters .
3. It seeds suspicion and fear psychosis amongst the common masses about the conduct of doctors , which may harm to medical fraternity as well as the patients , who lose trust of their healers .
4. Again , I would say that doctors are humans who are prone to errors , but strengthening the processes at the hospitals and improving the standards of training ( which has gone to the gutters nowadays ) is the solution , not pillorying and verbally lynching doctors , especially when they are half truths and manipulated .