The conduct of the authorities towards Former Union Minister and Member of Parliament E Ahmed, during his final moments in the hospital, is extremely shameful.
The way the Centre has dealt with the death of the political stalwart has sparked widespread uproar. Denying permission by the hospital authorities for his children including his daughter, a medical expert, to meet him and the administration refusing to disclose the details about his death, has already drawn much criticisms and subjected to discussions. The members of the Parliament revealed that they couldn’t even get a glimpse of former MP’s face. Such untoward incidents usually strike the enemy troupes in a war or the fringe groups that function challenging the judiciary system of a country.
Ahmed was admitted at Ram ManoharLohia Hospital in New Delhi on Tuesday after he collapsed in the Parliament following a cardiac arrest. The country’s prominent persons as well as the poor equally rely on the hospital which is under the direct control of the Central government. Whether the RML authorities carried out the procedures on their own or were compelled to do so is yet to come to light through comprehensive investigation. The hastiness of the Centre to conceal the failure in providing a fair treatment to a senior Parliamentarianand in justifying the disrespect shown to him, is unethical.
An MP from Kerala even announced that he should not be taken to the hospital if he suffered physical uneasiness. It’s not the first time that the patients who are admitted in critical conditions or their lifeless bodies, are being humiliated. A woman’s body left on the autopsy table instead of the deep freezer was nibbled by the rats at Amrit Kaur Hospital in Beawar, Rajasthan. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) which intervened in the matter termed as a serious violation of human dignity. In another case, a 70-year old paralytic patient admitted in the ICU of a government hospital in Jodhpur was bitten by rats leaving his face and ears cut and bleeding. The NHRC had intervened in the case sending show cause notice to the state government. But no response has come so far.
The NHRC held the state liable and ordered compensation for the difficulties faced in the hospital and violation of human rights. By the time the money reached the patient, he had already passed away. If a senior MP like E Ahmed receives such an inhuman treatment, the plight of the common man who are denied even the basic rights, is far worse. While such incidents occur in government hospitals and medical colleges due to negligence, inefficiency and certain other influences, the injustice towards the deceased in high profile private hospitals and medical colleges due to desire for money, is growing as an incurable disease.
Incidents of mining money from the families by releasing the long-dead bodies after placing them in the ventilator for hours even after confirming death are taking place in Kerala on a daily basis.
Add to this is the disrespect shown to the bodies of the Indians who die in foreign countries. The huge obstacles faced by the relatives in bringing the body back compel them to bury the deceased in the foreign soil itself. The instruction that the concerned Consulate should keep an account of the death of its citizens in foreign countriesdoes not get implemented.
The airline companies treat the dead bodies like cattle weighing and tapping a price for transporting them back to their homeland. While the bodies those who are financially well off or have a hold in powerful circles are flown home easily, bodies of the poor who are unable to afford the bulky amounts, are left in mortuary refrigerators for weeks. The authorities have several times announced that the bodies would be returned home free of charge. Flight companies of many countries bring back the bodies free of charge, whereas Air India charge the highest amount.
The injustice done to Ahmed and others could not be erased. But care could be taken to not commit the mistake again. Steps should be followed to ensure justice not only to Parliamentarians, but also to common man in their last moments particularly those who were denied humanitarian considerations while alive.