Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hospitals can't deny treatment to pregnant women: Delhi HC

NEW DELHI: Taking suo motu cognisance of the death of a woman who died on the city pavement after giving birth to a child due to lack of medical care, the Delhi high court on Wednesday said hospitals cannot deny treatment to any pregnant woman.

"Perplexed" over the fact that the baby girl had to take her first breath on the footpath despite court direction to provide medical facility to the poor in the national capital, a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra sought an explanation from the government on why such incident happened.

"It is the sacrosanct duty of the government to see that children are looked after properly in the hospitals within the guidelines. The hospitals cannot deny any pregnant woman for treatment," the court said asking the city government to file an affidavit within four weeks.

On July 26, a woman lying on a footpath at Shankar Market near the posh area of Connaught Place gave birth to a baby girl. The woman was lying in a pool of dirty rainwater on the footpath and she died four days later.

The court expressed concern over the incident taking place despite various welfare schemes of the government for the poor people.

" Central government has framed a bouquet of schemes for the destitute people and their children. How then has this incident happened? Such incident should not occur in a civilised society," the court said adding "it is perplexing why the child took its first breath on footpath."

"Emphasis has to be given on mother care and welfare of children and they should not be allowed to suffer", the court said and appointed Senior counsel Colin Gonsalvis as amicus in the matter.

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