Friday, November 19, 2010

In India, parents abandon infant with Down syndrome at hospital

From Hindustan Times:

The parents of a two-month-old baby admitted to the LTMG Hospital in Sion abandoned the infant on November 14.

Dr Sandhya Kamath, dean, LTMG Hospital, said, the baby was suffering from Down syndrome and a heart disease. Aamir Babu Mohammad, was admitted in the paediatric ward of the hospital on November 6.

“The baby’s condition was stable on Sunday,” said Dr Kamath.

Down syndrome, also known as Trisomy 21, is a condition in which extra genetic material causes delays in the way a child develops, both mentally and physically. It affects about one in every 800 babies.

The mother of the child was nowhere to be found by the hospital staff on November 14. “The mother asked the person on the neighbouring bed to take care of the baby and then never came back,” said a doctor. Staff at the hospital said the mother would often remain quiet and looked very stressed during her there.

“We have registered a case of 317 (abandoning a child below 12 years of age by family or guardian) against the unidentified accused. Investigations are on,” said Tulsiram Nagre, senior police inspector from the Sion police station.

Officials from the hospital said the financial condition of the family was not too good and may be couldn’t afford the cost of the treatment of the child. Hence, the mother might have abandoned him. “We will do the due procedure as per the law,” said Dr Kamath.