Max hospital row: Two doctors who declared premature baby dead terminated

Frederick Owens
December 5, 2017

A doctor in India mistakenly declared a newborn as dead shortly after delivering the boy's twin sister.

The services of two doctors at a leading private hospital in Indian capital city New Delhi were terminated for incorrectly declaring newly born twins "dead", while one of them was alive, officials said Monday.

When the twins were brought to the burial ground, the parents just before performing the last rites realised that one of them showed movements inside the bag. "We ripped it open, found bits of plastic and the baby inside, breathing".

"While the inquiry by the expert group which includes external experts from IMA is still in process, we have made a decision to terminate the services of the two treating doctors, Dr AP Mehta and Dr Vishal Gupta, in the case relating to the twin extreme pre-term babies", read the statement.

New Delhi police are continuing to review hospital records as well as video footage from the twins' birth to better understand how the doctor's arrived at the conclusion.

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Police officers said the focus of the questioning was to find out the specific duties of each member of the medical team at the time of the incident, seek justification for three expensive injections and a Rs 50-lakh bill that was quoted to the family.

In a statement, the hospital said the boy was "handed over without any sign of life" by hospital staff.

"We are shaken and concerned at this rare incident". We have initiated a detailed enquiry, pending which, the concerned doctor has been asked to proceed on leave immediately. "We are in constant touch with the parents and are providing all the needed support". Union Health Minister JP Nadda then directed the Delhi government to look into the matter, after which a probe was ordered and a report was sought within three days.

Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain on Saturday said that strict action would be taken against the hospital and if required its licence would be cancelled.

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