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India newborn ‘mistakenly’ declared dead passes away


India newborn 'mistakenly' declared dead passes away

Image copyright AFP
Image caption The incident sparked outrage and a debate over the quality of private healthcare

A premature baby who was "mistakenly" declared dead by doctors in India's capital Delhi has died in another hospital where he was being treated.

The doctors at the privately run Max Hospital had pronounced the baby dead hours after his twin, who was stillborn on 30 November, at 22 weeks.

The parents said the baby was alive while on their way to his funeral.

Their father told reporters that he would not take the child's body home unless the two doctors were arrested.

The incident sparked outrage and a debate over the quality of private healthcare which is often costly.

The two doctors were fired by the hospital on Sunday after an inquiry. The hospital also sent its condolences to the parents after hearing that the baby had died.

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"Our deepest condolences are with the parents and other family members. While we understand that survival in extreme preterm births is rare, it is always painful for the parents and family. We wish them the strength to cope with their loss," it said.

The state health minister, Satyender Jain, has said the hospital's licence could be cancelled if a probe found it guilty of medical negligence.

The Delhi police said on Wednesday that it had transferred the case to its crime unit.

The incident came to light when the parents noticed one of the babies squirming inside the plastic bag that doctors had placed the infants in.

According to the twins' grandfather, the stunned family rushed the newborn to a nearby hospital where they were told that their baby was still alive, local media reported.

This was the second instance in recent months where a private hospital in India has been called out for negligent care. Last month, a girl died of dengue fever in another hospital and the parents allege they were overcharged for her treatment.

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