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Doctors Who Mistakenly Declared Newborn Dead Are Fired

by Lisa René LeClair

Photograph by Twenty20

A woman who recently gave birth to boy-girl twins in New Delhi, India, suffered a parent's worst nightmare last Thursday.

Her newborn son was mistakenly pronounced dead just hours after his twin sister was declared stillborn by doctors at the Max Super Speciality Hospital in Shalimar Bagh, New Delhi, according to CNN. Two doctors have since been fired from the hospital as a result.

While on their way to a cremation ground, the parents noticed "some movements" inside one of the polythene bags that the hospital gave them containing the babies' bodies.

"When we opened the bag, we found the boy breathing," Praveen Malik, the twins' grandfather, told the news outlet. "I was shocked. I couldn't believe my eyes."

Another disturbing detail is that a second doctor had confirmed the initial diagnosis. That's right—two doctors, two sets of eyes—determined that a breathing infant was deceased.

The hospital, which fired the doctors, stated that the boy was "handed over without any sign of life" by hospital staff. However, Max Healthcare officials said that the decision to let the two doctors go should not be interpreted as an admission of guilt.

"We wish to clarify that this action should not presuppose finding of any lapse by the expert group and should not be construed in any way to be anything other than an expression of our continued commitment to providing quality health care."

Dr. Sandeep Gupta from the Delhi New Born Centre, where the baby is now receiving treatment, has confirmed that the boy is in critical condition.

"He is on ventilator support, nutrition support and other supports. We are managing to maintain his vitals at the moment, but the condition is very serious," Gupta said.

Despite an ongoing investigation and a tweet from Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal stating that authorities would take the "strongest action" if someone is found at fault, the boy's grandfather is demanding that those involved face severe penalties.

"We want the Delhi government to take strict action against the hospital authorities for their negligence," Malik told reporters.

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