Pregnant woman denied medical care in Kashmir, forced to deliver on the street which caused the death of her child
Note: The political crisis in Kashmir relegates the other human rights violations faced by civilians in the state on a daily basis. We hope the crisis is resolved so the state can start focusing on tackling the other shortcomings in public administration which involve reproductive and heath rights, infrastructure, educational and employment opportunities. The hospital's denial to attend to the woman is not related to the Pulwama Attack. She was denied care because she was the wife of a poor laborer belonging to a tribe in Kashmir. ... The petition pertains to the criminal negligence on part of the administration and doctors by not admiring the pregnant lady, as a result of which she delivered baby on roadside and consequently baby died due to the cold. On 17th of January 2019, doctors at L.D hospital Srinagar denied admission and medical care to a pregnant lady, as a result of which she delivered a baby on roadside and consequently due to the chilling cold, the baby died. The petition prays for a time bound judicial inquiry into the inhuman incident. FACTS The Petitioner’s wife was pregnant with her third child and she had undergone regular antenatal checkups from time to time as advised by the doctors and ASHA workers. While Ms. X was in her 37-38th week of her pregnancy, it was on 17.01.2019 at around 11 am Ms. X was taken to Primary Health Centre (PHC) Kalaroos for institutional delivery and the medical staff present there told the petitioner to immediately take Ms. X to the Sub-District Hospital kupwara since PHC Kalaroos did not have the adequate staff and the doctors. The medical staff present at PHC Kalaroos told the petitioner that the delivery of Ms. X will not be normal one. An ambulance was provided to the petitioner and consequently the patient (Ms. X) was taken to the Sub-district hospital kupwara for institutional delivery. At sub district hospital kupwara, USG test was conducted on Ms. X by the medical staff at around 11.45 am and the report also showed the feotus of Ms. X in 37th-38 TH week. On the advice of doctor who was present at SDH Kupwara, Ms. X was again “referred” to the institute of respondent no 9 i.e. L.D Hospital for delivery. The petitioner along with other family members immediately took Ms. X to L.D Hospital Srinagar for institutional delivery and reached the hospital supra at around 3.30 pm. On reaching L.D Hospital Srinagar, the doctors present there directed to conduct afresh USG test on Ms. X and the attitude of staff and doctors towards Ms. X and the petitioner was hostile and absolutely discriminatory. It was at around 7.30 pm, the doctors together with the staff members started hurling invectives on the petitioner and his other relatives who were accompanying Ms. X. Despite the fact that Ms. X was in her acute labour pain and her foetus was in 37th-38th week, the petitioner was told to take Ms. X from the respondent’s institute without assigning any reason. The USG test which was conducted on Ms X at L.D Hospital showed the feotus was in 34 th week of pregnancy and the date of delivery was shown to be 22.02.2019. While as the USG test which was conducted earlier at SHD Kupwara showed the results as 37-38 th week. In other words Ms X’s due delivery was 17-20 th January 2019 and not 22.02.2019. The petitioner and other relatives who were present in the hospital, requested the doctors to allow Ms. X to stay in the hospital for a night since Ms. X was in acute labour pain and it was also not possible for them to go back to a place which is more than 150 kms from Srinagar. The petitioner humbly states and submits that the family members also pleaded before the doctors that they did not have any relative or friend with whom they can stay for a night. On the same day at around 8.00 pm Ms. X started experiencing severe labour pain along with the rupture of membrane. Since the pain did not subside, the petitioner requested the doctor to admit Ms. X in the hospital for further examination. Despite repeated requests by the petitioner, the doctors told petitioner to leave the premises. The Petitioner therefore left with no option sought the help of people who were outside the hospital; one auto rickshaw driver who was waiting for his passenger outside the hospital premises came to the rescue of petitioner and took Ms. X and other family members to his place of residence i.e. to Bemina, Srinagar. While on the way to bemina, Ms X started crying and shrieking which prompted the auto driver to stop the auto half way near Bemina. Some female folks who were present their came forward and provided their shawls, stools etc to Ms X and she was forced to deliver her child enroute. Pertinently, the baby was born alive at the time of delivery but due to the freezing cold and due to the lack of medical care facility, baby died. Ms. X was forced to undergo her delivery without the assistance of skilled personnel in an unsanitary environment which consequently resulted in baby’s death. The petitioner’s brother-in-law immediately thereafter rang Dr. Firdous (BMO Kalaroos) who subsequently called up Dr Shabir sidiqui; the repulsive administration sent an ambulance to Bemina and Ms X was brought back to the LD hospital. Please find the petition attached.