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Parents' ignorance could have cost child's life...

Vol XXVIII   NO. 323      Monday      6th February 2006


I am so annoyed and disgusted at the sheer ignorance of some parents, who would rather see their children die than allow medical intervention to save their lives.

I couldn't believe my eyes yesterday when I read the GDN's report of the Sitra parents who refused to let doctors operate on their five-year-old despite being diagnosed with appendicitis.

Doctors had to snatch her away from her parents and operate on her without her loving parents' approval, five days after she was first diagnosed and her parents refused to allow the doctors to do their work.

Had this happened in the West, there would have been a major outcry.

The police, social services, child rights groups and every Tom, Dick and Harry would be up in arms, calling for the rescue of this poor child.

But our civil organisations seem to be a tad too busy waging war against Denmark than looking into more pressing issues at home.

I really can't understand what was going on in her parent's head, but their excuse that operations were conducted unnecessarily is so lame, adding insult to injury.

This is a government hospital. Doctors don't get paid per patient. Doctors don't even get paid proper doctor wages, compared to other doctors in the region.

It is also a central hospital, where doctors don't perform surgeries as a recreational activity.

Had it been a private hospital, I would have been more sympathetic towards the parents.

But turning down free surgery that would have left a scar and meant immediate relief to a child in pain? This is really unbelievable.

I just feel like screaming. People like this baffle me and being of a poor background and from a village is no excuse.

A parent is a parent is a parent. How did they bear their daughter's screams and pain for so long without doing the right thing?

Why did they return to the same hospital again, if they knew deep in their heartless hearts that the operation was unnecessary?

How could they have sat back seeing their child in agony for so long, before budging and coming down from their lofty towers and seeking help from the same hospital they refused treatment at earlier? Why didn't they seek a second opinion?

And how do they feel now that their daughter, a young innocent child who had no say on what had fallen upon her, is lying in a critical condition in intensive care at Salmaniya Medical Complex.

Some people would do just anything to get children of their own, while to others it obviously means nothing to lose a child.

Or is it because she is just a girl? Had she been a boy, would the attitude of her parents been any different? Just wondering.

*Amira Al Hussaini now lives in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada


Those parents have a combination of ignorance and mistrust of doctors . With Jehova's witness pediatric patients in the US, there is an effecient system of issuing emegency court order to give blood over-riding parents wishes or decisions. For competent adults, they have the right to refuse treatment for themselves even if this leads to their demise. When it comes to kids, the best interest of the child is the priority and there should be a functioning and effecient court procedure to over-ride parents who decide against providing needed treatment. In Bahrain if parents decide against medical intervention they can just leave the emergency room or even the hospital floor after signing AMA (against medical advice). In the US and I hope this could happen in Bahrain, this can't take place if refusing treatment will result in harm to the child and again a court order can be issued preventing parents from taking this child out of the hospital!
Unfortunately, in Bahrain, parent can take their child who has appendicits home only to come back with more complication; peritonitis and sepsis. And instead of simple surgery with dicharge home in 3-5 days, patient will have complicated surgery and complicated recovery that could inculde ICU state!

Posted by: Haitham Salman | 09/02/2006

great article.

Posted by: Blog | 25/01/2007

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