Medical Negligence
The baby’s parents allege that the doctor who carried out the procedure did not respond to repeated calls.

A 29-day old baby died in Kerala last week a day after he was circumcised, reportedly due to heavy bleeding. The baby’s parents filed a complaint with a human rights group, alleging that their child passed away due to the doctor’s negligence.

The parents, who live in Thriprayar, filed a complaint with Human Rights Protection Mission on Thursday, which was then forwarded to District Medical Officer (DMO) on the same day. However, since then, there has been no development in the case.

Speaking to TNM, Sabir, the coordinator of Human Rights Protection Mission, said that the baby was circumcised in a small clinic. The doctor, who has been practicing for many years, shut down his clinic and began to work out of his home a couple of years ago, Sabir said.

"On May 26, the child's parents took him to the doctor for the procedure. After it was done, the doctor told the mother to feed the child and let them go after 45 minutes. However, the wound was still bleeding when they got home. When the parents informed the doctor over the phone, he told them that the child's hands must have touched the wound. However, by 7.30 pm, the bleeding got worse and the parents called up the doctor. However, despite calling multiple times, they were unable to reach him," Sabir said.

The parents then rushed to the doctor's home on Sunday morning at 7 am, Sabir said. However, the doctor checked on the boy only at 8.15 am, according to the complaint filed by the parents.

The doctor subsequently advised the parents to take the baby to a surgeon. Although the couple went to two hospitals, the complaint filed by the parents pointed out that no surgeons were available.

“They took the child to Thrissur Medical College Hospital By 2.30 pm. But according to a report the hospital has submitted to us, the child was unconscious when he was brought in. By 5.30 pm on Sunday, the baby passed away," Sabir said.

When Human Rights Protection Mission got in touch with the doctor who performed the procedure, he reportedly claimed that he did not know about the seriousness of the baby's condition.

Sabir, who spoke to the doctor, said: "The doctor claimed that the parents should have rushed to his house with the baby immediately after the bleeding started, or even consulted other doctors rather than waiting till the next day. However, the parents feel that if the doctor had advised them to consult a surgeon on time, the baby's life could have been saved."  

Practiced among the Muslim community across the world, doctors say that circumcision of male children is done even at an early age, and is commonly carried out in hospitals.

A report by the BBC points out that Muslims continue to be the largest religious group to circumcise its boy children, a practice they believe ensures cleanliness and protects them from infections.

"It is essential that every Muslim washes before praying. It is important that no urine is left on the body. Muslims believe the removal of the foreskin makes it easier to keep the penis clean because urine can't get trapped there. Supporters of circumcision also argue that excrements may collect under the foreskin which may lead to fatal diseases such as cancer," the report said.