01-Feb-2023  Srinagar booked.net

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‘My Husband Abandoned Me’: Aftershock of Deadly Diagnosis in Kashmir

“These doctors ruined my life and I have no idea about how this missing organ would affect my health now.”

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 The scene broke many hearts and reaffirmed a belief about the growing trivialization of life in Kashmir.

A wailing mother taking her teen son’s dead body from Srinagar’s JVC Hospital lamented throughout the ambulance ride: “Why didn’t I die instead of you, oh my dear son! What have they (doctors) done to me!”

She kept crying and singing dirges for her son, Parvez Hussian Mir, 14, till the hospital wagon pulled over in her hometown in Pattan.

“Around 10 pm, his abdomen pain triggered,” Abbas, Parvez’s cousin, said. “He told me the pain is unbearable when we were heading towards the nearby JVC hospital on Srinagar bypass.”

In the hospital, he said, doctors injected a few painkillers and discharged him immediately.

Writhing in pain, Parvez reached home. Abbas, meanwhile, became anxious about his cousin’s health. He had never seen him in such a torment.

Around 12 of the night, they went to the hospital again – more injections were given and doctors left the ward.

Minutes later, Abbas recalled, Parvez breathed last in his cousin’s arms.

“Doctors didn’t tell us that he’s dead, but I told them that they’re experimenting with a dead body,” Abbas broke down recollecting the scene.

“He died because of misdiagnosis. They repeatedly injected painkillers in him. It’s the responsibility of doctors to take appropriate steps while giving the right diagnosis and follow-up on their patients’ progress but here, doctors didn’t even conduct tests to know why the pain has occurred.”

The death certificate, Abbas said, wasn’t given to the family as the reason for the death was falsely concluded as a heart-attack.

“These doctors think people are fools,” he said. “Even when the concerned police officials came, not a single doctor was present that time. We had submitted a written application and the medical superintendent had assured us that they will take action against those concerned doctors but that won’t change anything.”

An inquiry, said Dr. Shafa Deva, Medical Superintendent JVC, has been set in this case and as per the preliminary investigations, “it has been revealed that there was no medical negligence.”

What happened at JVC is not the case of its own kind in the valley. Kashmir’s conflict-hardened healthcare system keeps hogging headlines for misdiagnosis and surgeries gone wrong.

At the fag-end of 2021 when 28-year-old Rutba from the Firdousabad area of Batamaloo underwent a piles surgery in JLMN Rainawara hospital of Srinagar, her world turned topsy-turvy upon knowing that instead of piles surgery, her gall bladder was removed.

“When my husband knew that the doctors had removed my gall bladder, he abandoned me and my daughter saying: ‘I am no longer a healthy person and I don’t want to live my life with a sick woman’,” Rutba said, lamenting.

“These doctors ruined my life and I have no idea about how this missing organ would affect my health now.”

Even though the hospital has apologized, but Rutba said: “How can an apology fix such a blunder?”

Wrong surgery performed on the wrong body part is a rare mistake and distressing, she said. “We don’t even protest about it now because we know it won’t help.”

In their defense, the doctor body who attended Rutba said the young lady was being treated for gall bladder as well as for piles in the hospital.

“Before the surgery,” a senior doctor said, “the patient said her reports of piles treatment were lost and asked doctors to get the surgery of gall bladder done which had stones. When doctors removed her gall bladder along with the stones, her family cursed her for the wrong operation and she started shouting and alleging that it was the doctors who wronged her.”

However, Rutba dismisses this declaration as “medical myth”.

Adding to the tribulations of medical negligence in Kashmir, a family in Srinagar recently approached Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, SSP Crime and other authorities for action against a private diagnostic centre after a 4D scan report conducted by them showed different results compared with tests done by Govt Institute, SKIMS Soura.

Even though the legal advisor of the private diagnostic centre said that they stand by their report, Kashmir is only witnessing repeated ruckus over the deadly diagnosis.

One such ruckus erupted in GMC Anantnag, when patient died there due to “misdiagnosis” in December last year.

The patient from remote Marwah area of Kishtwar was taken to GMC Anantnag where a doctor had diagnosed him with “some kind of tension” and advised visit to a psychiatrist.

The patient was shifted to his rented accommodation at Ashajipora Anantnag. But in the evening, he complained about pain and was shifted back to the hospital where the same doctor told his relatives to give him one more prescribed tablet.

The tablet was given and the patient vomited.

“We again went to the same doctor who advise some injection which was given to him,” a relative said.

After he seemed relaxed, the doctor asked the attendants to take the patient home and show him to some psychiatrist. But the family again brought the man to hospital in the morning where he was declared brought dead.

“If poor have to meet same fate, then tell us what we shall do, where shall we go?” the family members of the patient said.

While the Kishtwar man is still being mourned by his family, the inconsolable mother at Pattan is still singing dirges for her son consumed by the deadly diagnosis.

At Batamaloo, Rutba is wondering about her abandoned daughter and breaking down.

Clearly, the life after misdiagnosis and wrong surgeries is proving nothing short of death in Kashmir.