28 December 2011

My Doctor My God

Earlier an expression of trust is now a statement of horror. Here’s why. When I read that post, I was choking. My throat was dry & my eyes had welled up.


I have a 5 year old daughter. It was a natural birth. I know the pain, happiness, trauma, expectation, anguish & the endless wait we go through to see the first glimpse of our baby & these bloody people discussing horoscopes & giggling & the mother isn’t even aware of what just happened!!! This is terrible. I was stunned to read about their insensitivity. For them it is just another "case" but for the mother & family it is LIFE! For god's sake! How horribly irresponsible to not check on the baby's breathing on time! A slip up in ‘a small procedural thing’ can cause such irrevocable physical/mental damage to the development of the child in the future & these people aren't even bothered!


I can’t bear thinking a life could be so handled. I kept thinking, “My God! Is this how it happens ‘sometimes’???” I had goose bumps on me realizing that this HAS happened & for all I know, might be happening in other places too. How can they be so callous? Those three people who handled the birth? What if it had happened in my case, what if it is happening right now, this very instant, in some part of the city? My heart aches for every child who may be deformed or suffers lifelong because of the coldness of some doctors; for mothers who bear their child in their womb for 9 months waiting every moment to see & hold a healthy baby in her hands & instead might have only a dead one thanks to the ‘small mistake’ by a medical staff. I wonder what else might be happening inside the labor wards. The mistakes committed by the docs which the families never come to know of & suffer lifelong & instead think that god was cruel or unkind to them or blame their "fate." My heart goes out to every family that has been wronged thus. What do we call this – carelessness, apathy, or disrespect for human life? No accountability at all? Negligence by the medical staff is unpardonable.


An article in The Week (13th Nov’11 issue) talked of how “infant deaths have become so common that they no longer shock the health authorities. Half the mothers give birth in the absence of skilled health personnel. In hospitals across the country posts for doctors are vacant. Lack of political will is responsible for poor state of health care in the country. “We buy equipment for one hospital & manpower for another – and both remain underutilized” – was what a former health minister said in an interview. UNICEF report states that of every four infants dying worldwide one is in India”.


If there are doctors reading this, I BEG you, help your staff understand the criticality of such negligence. Your small mistake may haunt us all our lives. Our lives are not so cheap nor our emotions so easily replicated. You may say this is just 1% of the cases, but Pls remember in that 1%, I am there too. Recall my face & my trust in your expertise, recall how I blindly believed your words & followed your instructions, remember you are no less than God for me at the instant when I'm trying to bring my baby into this world. I'm helpless. But pls don’t take advantage of my helplessness or my ignorance. I'm completely at your mercy. Yours is a profession unlike any other. Don’t treat it as joke. Don’t play with lives that are entrusted into your hands. Don’t kill a baby by giving it a life marred by disability. Don’t be so inhuman.



I don’t believe in New Year wishes. But today I just want to pray that let the coming year be a year where there is no birth riddled with such complications & carelessness. May the mother with money & the mother without money be treated the same way. May their deliveries be handled with care and compassion. May we not be another ‘case number” in your files.

94 comments:

  1. yeah, this is a growing concern, need to be addressed with greater intensity

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  2. I read that post.. and i was aghast!!! shocked!!

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  3. Oh My God!! Horrible would be a very very under-statement! This is nothing but disrespect to the feelings of another person, and disrespect to their profession. Doctors are supposed to be angels sent my God. If doctors themselves behave in such irresponsible and disgusting way, what will happen to the future! I have a nephew who is three, and I consider him more as a son. I cannot imagine anything like this happening to him or any other child. I have so much to say, but I just hope and pray along with you every child is born with the respect and dignity it carries and be able to enjoy all rights and leisure offered to them

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  4. My goodness, that is shocking. How can they be so careless? Recently passed out untrained Doctors being posted to rural areas... I can only imagine what could be the consequences. Scary thought.

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  5. well u sud see how some of the govt hospitals treat their patients. they r just another file no for them and god knows if things ll change in future. the hippocratic oath goes down the drain once they start practicing.

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  6. Such a shocking and cruel incident! :( Child birth is probably the most important and noble human act and people who handle that should do it with utmost care and devotion. A very important and serious post!

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  7. Read the incident and felt bad knowing how reckless doctors can get...After all the complications women go through for 9 months, they deserve a doctor who can be trusted.

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  8. I was trembling as I read that post. It is shocking and sad at the same time. Something similar happened to a relative. She went into labour but the doctor was already asleep and refused to come down for her delivery. She stayed with the baby inside all night. The baby (my cousin) was born with severe learning disabilities. All because the doctor was too tired to attend her delivery. Sadly, they couldn't do anything as he was their family doctor and had performed everyone's deliveries until then.

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  9. Thought provoking and provoking Sujatha! Medical profession is going through a terrible phase....

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  10. My God, this is such a horrifying incident. How can humans be so indifferent towards another human life? As a woman who will have to go through the child birth procedure in few months, I am absolutely terrified. Even I hope the same Sujatha, that hopefully no parent has to ever go through this trauma ever again.

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  11. Read the post.. shattered. Lost all faith in medical practitioners is the least I can say.
    Not to forget the arrogant nurses who will never bother to attend even when ladies scream in pain. Have heard of many situations wer nurses where too busy chatting that they didn't call docs on time.

    Really scared to deliver my baby in the hands of such irresponsible docs.

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  12. I guess the attitude of giving the best has to extend to every facet of our lives, irrespective of the profession. If a programmer is churning out code, they should constantly monitor to ensure that it doesn't have any bugs - who knows? The code might be used on an airplane! In this case, I guess the issue was with deploying inexperienced surgeons without any experienced ones beside them.

    Destination Infinity

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  13. I liked the title and the first line :)

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  14. It is really a very sad state of affairs..it must be termed a crime to neglect such times..they ruin the life of many people with one mistake..

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  15. I have spend many days in hospitals and seen people dying because of hospital negligence. The limit was when I was in ER and a lady delivered twins prematurely and hospitals has no working incubators. Both the kids died in 2 hours, they dint refer it to any other hospital. From that day I have no respect for doctors.

    Life is indeed a very cheap commodity in their profession.

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  16. Strange as it may sound Sujatha, doctors are in a profession. It was supposed to be a selfless one, but now its turning out to be a money spinning venture! Even experienced doctors treat their patients like 'cases'.

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  17. @Gowardhan: yes definitely needs to be addressed

    @Jenny: same here. I was speechless

    @Deepthi: true, no child no one should suffer this way.
    If it is genetic problem, it is different. But this……is something else

    @Akshay: yeah, see how these stupid govt policies of posting untrained doctors can affect our lives

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  18. This is not something they deserve. Something they are destined to. Reading your comments make me scared about doctors. Reading Gayatri's and Saru Di's comments are heart breaking!

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  19. @Deb: ya :(( the oath is completely & conveniently forgotten

    @Raj: yes, it should be done with devotion. Wish....

    @Gargi: true, as it is, it is not easy carrying a child & when delivery complications happen it is a nightmare

    @Gayathri: oh god! This is one of those things they say ki kisi dushman ke saath bhi na ho.

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  20. @Satish: and innocent babies paying the price for it. I have tears in my eyes Sir right now as I write this just thinking about such babies & their mothers

    @Prasanna: yes, Prasanna no one ever ever ever should suffer like this

    @Jane: yeah Jane it is very scary & shattering. I can only pray pls God don’t let this happen ever again

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  21. @Rajesh: yes, the govt policy to put students who have just passed out to man rural hospitals, compulsory “service” terms

    @Ashutosh: thank you

    @Renu: true, a crime it is

    @Saru: oh god!!!! The mother….of the twins…..I would have gone mad…it is just…so…

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  22. @Binu: it is sad Binu very sad. i have delivered a baby. i KNOW the pain

    @Deepthi: yes Deepthi...such shocking & sad incidents what Saru & Gayathri mentioned...when i see my daughter now & think of her birth, i have to thank God another 1000 times...i feel very sad for those mothers

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  23. Read the post you linked and it is horrible! Even in the cities we trust our doctors blindly then for rural people they are really like GODS! I just pray that no child gets deformed by such irresponsible behavior :( The questions raised were worth thinking upon, but thinking is what cannot be expected from the politicians!

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  24. @M : yes, i wish the policy makers realize the impact of their decisions & i wish the medical staff are more humane

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  25. This thing never changed.Before one week my uncle was in serious condition. We admit him in a Named hospital in coimbatore.They give treatment for 32 hours and later they said he is dead..I enter into the emergency room and touch him, i was shocked. Because, the body is very cold and the smells came..The hospital billed us RS.55,000..Now education and Medicine is only for earning money..If this things want to be change, the world needs Adolf Hitler...

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  26. i havent read the article but this is so shocking..we definitely need better medical facilities those who afford it go to good private hospitals and others suffer..in fact private re no better..my own daughter was given wrong diagnosis when she was 13 due to which she almost landed at death bed the doctor passed of a severe case of jaundice as gastric problem..and my daughter was ill for 8months her weight had come down to 36kgs for a height of 5ft 5inches

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  27. Such people have to punished brutally so that they never even think of repeating such 'mistakes' which can cause a lifetime for many!

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  28. Very thoughtful post, Sujatha!It is painful to face these realities which are so harsh that no words can suffice!

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  29. 'UNICEF report states that of every four infants dying worldwide one is in India” No wonder it is happening in India. Nobody is there to monitor these lapses in the hospitals. Negligence is spread in every sphere, here.

    These house surgeons should be made to study an extra year to get the degree for their mistake, I feel, though the affected baby will not get any benefit.

    Very well written, Sujatha Sathya.

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  30. I have heard of mishaps in some hospitals over here as well.Its pure negligence of the hospital staff most of the times.Everytime a woman goes into labour,I know its God's blessings she needs at that time to go through it all.Actually I have heard this kind of stuff,rarely though,but unless it doesnt come upon you or you dont chance upon this situation,one cant understand or usually people dont care.You must have hard people say at times,"How come it happened to them? Maybe lying...ours was such a great experience."

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  31. @Hi: my god! that is terrible! how can they do that? i am very sorry to hear what happened in your family. really sad to know about your uncle

    @Alka: oh shit! really Alka? this is so scary. jaundice was not diagnosed properly!! feel bad for your daughter, poor child must have suffered so much. cant see children being so sick. its very painful

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  32. @Deepthi: yes, no punishment would be enough for them.

    @Rahul: true Sir, words cant express the harshness of situations like these

    @Sandhya: yeah, such monstrous acts of negligence!

    @Suzy: that is correct Suzy, we definitely need God's blessings at that time

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  33. Oh my god! OH MY GOD!!! Whoever thought that such things happen in our current "civilized" society!!! And what confirmation do we have that if we go to a BIG hospital, the treatment will be better! Nobody is safe from such pricks who think they can play god with other peoples' life!!! :(

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  34. moving and thought-provoking.Can only say ,that medicine is not a profession,but a responsibility and that too a huge one requiring selfless dedication.Doctors are equated to God and there's a reason for it.

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  35. Horrible is mild word to describe that incident..Do doctors become so numb that they dont feel any emotions?

    Fortnight ago my uncle visited a renowed nuero surgeon due to complaint of continous severe headache and nausea.He was chain smoker,doctor asked to get some test done and later declared that he had clots in brain and should be immediately operated upon lest he will die within no time..petrified relatives hastily agreed for operation and shelled off big money for the same..he was brought unconsicous from the operation theatre....for next 36 hours no t family member was allowed to see him...later without informing they again operated him in wee hours...for next 4 days inspite of begging no one was allowed to see him...when relatives got desperate and created a ruckus,they declared him dead late in night...truth was that he was dead on the day of first operation itself....this was not the end..hospital authorities did not give the body until all there dues were cleared.:-(

    There is a saying in hindi that 4 types of coat holders have no heart...Doctor coat,lawyer coat,Police coat and the last one is peticoat {reference to pros/callgirls who destroy mans life mercilessly}

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  36. @John: no John 'big' doesn't make a difference. big hospital or small, private or govt the attitude seems to be the same, things have gone to the dogs. Just read the horrifying tales written by Saru, Gayatri & Vinod in the comments section

    @Rohit: true, doctors are considered next only to God for a reason but i guess it is not so anymore

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  37. @Vinod: oh noooooo!!!! they killed him! oh god! i don't know what to say! oh god his family...what they must have gone through to have him alive one moment & gone the next ......

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  38. Older days there were specialized ladies in every village who would give the best deliver ,which even most of the sophisticated Hospital can't give . But that system has slowly vanished . Something for which we all are responsible .

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  39. They remained inconsolable for many days...Their loved one walked into hospital on his own legs,chatted merrily upto 2 am in night before operation but returned lifeless..

    We advised police complaint against doctor but they did not want postmortem..Even the police inpsector who came there in night could not hold his tears and urged us to initiate action..he later revealed that this was third such incident in last one month..

    Its high time that Government evolve a system which monitors this kind of hospitals and make doctors accountable...

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  40. @Vinod: true. there should be an easy system to make them accountable

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  41. yes its becoming serious problem in India.

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  42. thought provoking post.
    there are even instances of unattended patients due to doctors strike,,,and all those stuff..cant believe doctors can behave so!! they have lives to be saved!!!!

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  43. Why are doctors like those allowed to practice?

    And this is what comes out of an education system so screwed up that students become doctors to please their parents rather than make a difference in people's lives.

    And now I wonder if all the misery caused when autistic, challenged children are born wasn't the fault of some bucking fasterd.

    Pardon my language but they invoke such disgust and rage in me.

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  44. Even for the paretns it is a irrecoverable damage as they need to take care or bear with the abscence. No more "vaidyo narayanoharihi"...!!!!

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  45. I am late reading this!! I read the link and then your posting and I'm truly disturbed to think that life could be so meaninglessly handled!!! I was almost in tears thinking of the mother who has no idea what her child went through & still not knowing what could be the outcome of the fact the child was without oxygen for that amount of time. SO SAD!!!!!

    This is definitely a subject that must be shouted from the mountain tops and must be discussed openly!!

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  46. This is a very strong post and message! Totally appreciate it! :)

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  47. Thanks for your timely appeal to the medical professionals. It is high time for the doctors to have sympathy and consideration for others

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  48. @Madrasi: i know! it is so hard to digest that they can turn so callous

    @PeeVee: the language u used is what they deserve PeeVee.
    it IS disgusting what they are doing, playing with lives.

    if you've time, read the incidents shared by Vinod, Saru & Gayatri. it makes my blood boil

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  49. @Suraj: indeed. no more :(

    @Anjuli: true, these things are unpardonable.

    @Mi: i just hope not a single baby or family has to suffer thus.

    @Saibaba: right, they should. their profession is a noble one.

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  50. poignant post...


    such callous attitude ... tragic

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  51. Good piece, unfortunately the callousness on part of the medical professionals is not a very indication, not to mention that there is a huge shortage of staff.

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  52. @magic: true - very tragic

    @Vikram: yes :(

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  53. Now that was a truly well written Piece,.you are so good with words Sujatha..tho I dont know much about these issues yet but the concern here is solid and demands some attention..very nice:-)

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  54. since i am not married/a woman or a doctor, i dont think i will understand the pain or the procedure involved but hats off to women. its no mean task

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  55. I agree to every statement of yours. It cant be called neglect. Its a crime. Those young buds are not the ones to be penalized, but those elderly people who are responsible for it.

    A medical student if trained well, should be skilled to handle all stages of normal labor and resuscitation of the baby. He will also know his limits and when to call for help.

    Unfortunately that is not the case with every student. I believe the fault lies with their teachers and the system.
    -We have a good number of teachers in this field who are examples of how a doctor should not be. Many of our new generation students are derailed by these inefficient and irresponsible seniors.
    -The system is rotten to the extend that it no longer gives importance to skills and knowledge. No matter the path you take, they emphasize on grades. Overloaded syllabus, short duration of course(when compared to other countries), target deadlines and lack of adequate exposure and trained faculty makes these boys and girls turn psychotic in getting a pass. Attaining adequate experience at the bedside takes a back seat. Peek in once and you will know how messy things are.

    I'd love to see it all cleaned up and I can see the torch shining already. Medical education reforms are being discussed in the council. Don't really know how many of us will have to go on fast to get that bill passed.

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  56. Read the incident which is the source of this article.

    Terrible.Giggling after what they have done? Preposterous! Don't know how people with such a negligence get through their course and how are they allowed to attend patients is mysterious. All these private colleges and colleges that take incompetent candidates for money are to be blamed for.

    People who have the passion and inclination to service(at least with the commercial limits) should take up courses such as medicine.Others can just get the hell out and do any other course in which they have everything to mess up.

    Having said all that,its a matter of individual discipline and his choice of doing justice to the profession.

    I second every point of yours especially uniform attention to mother who have money and who doesn't have.Pretty valid and necessary one.

    Good article. Keep up the great work. :)

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  57. It is absolutely a matter of shame for divine profession, and I am surprised, what happened to the sensitivity of the doctors. Sujatha ma'am you rightly pointed out this issue and we need to shout it from the top.
    Overall very wisely written..

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  58. A truly thought provoking piece. I agree with you, what was once a calling has now become so commercial, that, as long as the money flows in, there is scant regard for ethics in the medical fraternity ....

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  59. @Mishi: yeah it is a serious issue & hope they wake up

    @Madhav: it is so not....really tough going through it & if someone messes up, its tougher

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  60. Well written post.Yes your fears are well founded. The callousness, indifference, carelessness, insensitivity arises primarily from lack of discipline, awareness, training, attitude & a host of other reasons prevalent among staff & management primarily in Government Hospitals but also in many private hospitals. The recent news of a series of baby deaths in a West Bengal Hospital ran like a horror story.

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  61. @Leo: thank you for sharing your insightful views Leo esp since it is coming from a person who is in the same field, a doctor himself.

    hope that all important bill gets passed because yes, this is a crime, not just neglect

    @Vishnu: true, the least we expect is that they do justice to the profession they have chosen.

    it IS terrible the incident narrated in that post

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  62. @Mithlash: yes, it is a matter of shame Mithlash. hope things for the better

    @Santa: true, this is a shocking dip in ethics

    @Ramakrishna: yeah, the West Bengal incident was another shocker. blood curdling event

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  63. I am shocked and feel like cursing my heart out... Thanks for sharing this one Sujatha...
    How I wonder that humans should have only one religion called HUMANITY....!

    Love,
    Indie :)

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  64. @Amrita: yup, no curse is enough for something as heinous as this one

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  65. It is so sad.. I have seen it happen here to in UK had some personal experience .. will talk about it later

    you take care


    Bikram's

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  66. I dont know what to say.
    This is such a seriously disturbing matter. Hmm.

    BTW I nominated you for the VERSATILE BLOGGER AWARD. Here is the post-> http://sweetsomethingz.blogspot.com/2011/12/honorary-moment.html

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  67. @Bikram: it is indeed very sad

    @Poo: yes, it is a very unsettling issue.

    thanks for the nomination

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  68. find the whole issue very very sad.....what a trauma it must be for a mother to lose a young one...at the very plc, she expects safety and care!!!

    http://sushmita-smile.blogspot.com

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  69. horrible experience ya.. how could these so called bloody docs be talking and giggling after all this..for some children going for medicinal studies is all about status symbol which they and their family can boast about.. patients are the least important thing in their lives..disgusting man..really sad..

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  70. @Sushmita: indeed, how traumatic an experience for the mother & the family

    @Sunita: haan, inke status symbol ke chakkar mein besahara log pis gaye. very sad

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  71. that sums up the overall state of affairs in our part of the world... irresponsibility and negligence are the main attributes associated with govt employees... i hope for a while they should think of their own families and children and may be that should put some sense of care and responsibility in them... may 2012 see lesser infant mortality rate than 2011...

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  72. @Israr: yeah, wish they would at least think of their own families, maybe that would bring out a sense of empathy in them.
    may 2012 be a year of happy births.

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  73. It was sad reading about the infant being deprived of the oxygen and suffering. When I was pregnant, I had bleeding and that could be one of the reason for my daughter being born with special needs. All the doctors were of the opinion (after scans) that the baby is perfect. I don't mind it nor did I make a huge issue of it just because anyway I would not have aborted her.
    Good thought provoking post from you.

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  74. @Farida: thank you for stopping by my blog Faridaji. yes, i was sad too when i read about that incident in the hospital in that post.

    God bless you for your strength in the way you faced the situation in case of the delivery of your daughter.

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  75. Great Post Sujatha,
    YEsterday I was seeing this show Undercover Boss. The Boss this episode was COO of WasteManagerment company in US, Larry he has a Challenged daughter and he told umpteen times that this happened only because of the miss in the must do Procedure by doctor during the time of baby's birth. So much relating to his pain now...
    Yes life is very precious

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  76. @Ramya: true, life is very precious, wish the medical fraternity never miss the must do procedures

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  77. OMG! I was literally shaking reading that post -- it's a shame that doctor's as such are still allowed to practice.

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  78. Docs are ambassadors of God and obviously they can't play with the lives of God's creations. This is an impressive & equally informative article. Keep it up!!!

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  79. @Kiran: i know! they go unnoticed & unpunished.

    @Sriram: it is very sad that some of them do :(

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  80. So painful and so shocking, Sujatha. No mother should go through this. Not only in childbirth but even in other surgeries, diagnoses etc., medical professionals are becoming increasingly callous. If not compassion then it must be fear of a strict punishment, but they should not get away scotfree.

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  81. I ve seen so much of ignorance for so many years from doctors, but still such stories fails to die. The country refuses to learn.

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  82. @Rachna: even i couldn't believe when i read that post.

    yeah, there must be strict punishment for things like these. they just don't care!

    @Neeraj: true, to learn & to amend is the need of the hour

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  83. Oh My . I Just Read Ganesh's article too. A woman undergoes so much of pain in those 9 months, only to be left at the mercy of inexperienced students who did not have the sense to ask for expert help when they needed? Is this the quality of Doctors our country is producing?

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  84. @Ashwini: that's what! after all the things we undergo in those 9 months, we are finally at their mercy, these killers. makes me so angry & sad - both

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  85. Nice Description dear sister...Good work!!

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  86. @Manas: nice description ???? !!!!!!!

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  87. Oh Gosh... A small negligence can cost a life!!??!! I think its because they treat it as a 'case' and not a 'life'. Its just another case in their file, but if you notice it, you have a 'life' in the 'file'!

    I pray God such negligence don't happen for anyone!

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  88. @Anand: wow! i never observed that - life in file !! interesting that u noticed it!

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  89. Negligence can pay such a heavy price! GOSH! It is just TERRIBLE! HORRIFIC and what not!
    Whenever I read such stuffs, my heart starts pounding. How a mother would be feeling? Cant explain Sujatha..
    Don't know what more to say..

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    1. true. when i read his post i didn't know what to say either. it was shocking, sad, everything. tumba bejar agatte. paapa hope the child doesn't suffer in any way

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  90. very well said. and a thought provoking post.loved reading it.

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