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Hospitals can`t deny treatment to pregnant women: Delhi HC

Last Updated: Wednesday, September 1, 2010 - 22:03

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 today 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.


First Published: Wednesday, September 1, 2010 - 22:03

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