Delhi Medical Association is very much perturbed with the recent comment of Haryana Health Minister Mr. Anil Vij in the Gurgaon’s Fortis Case during the crowded press conference held on 6th Dec 2017. Addressing the press conference he said that death of a seven-year-old girl at Gurgaon’s Fortis hospital was not a death, it was a murder”. DMA strongly condemns such a shameful and defaming statement by such a responsible person merely to gain political mileage. We the doctors are the saviours and not the murders.
In the recent case of Max Shalimar Bagh Hospital, where a foetus who was wrongly declared dead by the hospital in Delhi died due to infection and other medical problems. The foetus, who was born prematurely in Max Hospital on Nov 30, died in a clinic in Pitampura, where he was being treated for a week after his parents found him alive while taking the “body” for final rites.
There is no set protocol & guidelines for such extremely pre-term deliveries. But Indian law permits MTP upto 20 wks of pregnancy and in extreme cases court has permitted upto 24 wks of pregnancy. It means Indian law considers foetus upto 24 wks as non survivable and non viable.
In view of the recent controversy regarding handling of extremely pre-term babies at one of the Delhi Hospitals, we would wish to state that the clinical approach for an extremely premature fetus of less than 24 weeks of pregnancy is not viable or survivable. Many times, due to hypothermia, the heart beat in such cases may be absent and reverts from time to time. Such rare cases have occurred in the past across many parts of the world including recent one in Safdarjung Hospital in June 2017). Clinical criteria such as APGAR scores are used world over for assessing in delivery room. In case parents decide not to resuscitate or not to provide intensive care treatment, the pre-viable baby is given only comfort care and checks periodically for any signs of life, by the doctors respecting the parents instruction. As enquiries are underway by various authorities, we request everyone, including media, to refrain from jumping to conclusions without ascertaining proper facts, as such premature statements/articles adversely affect the concerned doctors and staff in delivering services to their patients.
It is high time now that the media, society, politicians, bureaucrats etc.. stop blaming the soft target called “Doctors” for anything bad or any unwanted event happening and malign the image of medical profession.