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Parents of 20-day-old infant, who died of COVID-19 file FR petition

23 December 2020 03:18 pm - 16     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The parents of the 20 day year old infant who was cremated filed a Fundamental Rights application through their Attorney Sanjeewa Kaluarachchi today.

The parents detailing their ordeal state that authorities at the Lady Ridgeway hospital cremated the body of the infant in an undue hurry. They state that they pleaded from the hospital authorities to permit a second PCR test on the child, after his death but they were not permitted to do so. 

The Petition states that the child was in good health after his birth on November 18th and had no contact with any outside persons as the area they live was under lockdown.

However, around the 7th of December the child had developed a temperature and a phlegmy condition. The parents had rushed the child to the baby to the Lady Ridgeway hospital at around 10 PM.

After an initial test on the child and the parents the Hospital authorities had informed the Parents that their child had contracted Covid- 19.  They had thereafter been asked to return home in the wee hours of the next day leaving the child at the Hospital, the Petition said. 

The Petition states that the mother had pleaded to be with the child in order to breastfeed him and provide other care, however the authorities had declined and ordered them to go home. The Petition states that the parents were informed that they could contact the Hospital via telephone.

On the afternoon on 8th December they received a call stating that  PCR test was conducted and that the child was confirmed to have contracted COVID-19.  The authorities had informed the Petitioners that they would be kept updated on the situation of the child.

However, the Petitioners state that they did not receive a call. They had thereafter called the hospital at around 5.15 PM . It was only then that they were informed that the child had died an hour earlier. 

The Petition states that thereafter there was an unde hurry to cremate the body of the infant. The parents nor their relatives were permitted to see the body and instead the authorities had demanded a consent form be signed. 

The Petition states that at around 4 PM on the 9th of December whilst awaiting a method to obtain another PCR test, the Petitioners received a call at around 4 PM and were asked as to why they were not present at the Borella cemetry.

The Petitioners state that they were not given any intimation whatsoever that the child would be cremated on that day. 

The Petition also quotes an Email circulated on social media sent  by Professor Shehan Williams Consultant Psychiatrist to the Sri Lanka Medical Assoication InterCollegiate Committee which states 

"The recent incident at the LRH further highlights the communication and ethics of our professionals in the way it has been handled. I have no doubt that the doctors concerned would have done their best for the child in terms of the treatment. The issue however is that we fail in breaking bad news or empathising with our patients or their families and the senior most professional concerned does not take this responsibility in most instances in our country.".

The Electronic Mail further states

"The silence of our medical profession really appals me when it comes to certain issues, making me wonder whether our establishment too is steeped in racism or is willing to ignore science and ethics due to fear."

The Petition also quotes world renowned Professor Malik Peiris who the Petition states had categorically refuted any scientific basis for the virus to transmit from bodies which are buried. 

The Petitioner had requested for a Full Bench as the matter is of Public and General importance and that certain reliefs sought had been refused leave by majority decision.

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  Comments - 16

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  • Borat Wednesday, 23 December 2020 05:19 PM

    Sri Lanka to be shamed globally . Then big bro’s like China , moda Modi and US can come fishing

    Dee Wednesday, 23 December 2020 05:29 PM

    Probably the case would be dismissed!

    German Wednesday, 23 December 2020 05:32 PM

    Cremating a 20 days old baby without consent of the parents? What a country, Sri Lanka

    Aslam Wednesday, 23 December 2020 05:38 PM

    If we are under the mismanagement of dictators, Covid 19 is showing that they will not bow their "heads" to anyone.

    Balaji Wednesday, 23 December 2020 05:54 PM

    It’s very sad to know we have people living in our country as heartless as those people working for LRH . It’s an infant put your self in the infants parents position and see

    lanakan Wednesday, 23 December 2020 06:11 PM

    Lady of Justice is in Quarantine.

    Shantha Wednesday, 23 December 2020 06:28 PM

    Won't be surprised that the child is still alive and sold to another couple for money and replaced with a another dead child and cremated.

    FF Wednesday, 23 December 2020 07:05 PM

    HOSPITAL NEGLIGENCE IS COMMON IN BOTH GOVT AND PRIVATE HOSPITALS. THERE IS NOT JUSTICE, BUT ITS SO LATE THAT YOU CANNOT BRING BACK LIFE

    Rajiv Wednesday, 23 December 2020 07:11 PM

    But we will not kill CATTLE. We are a Sinhala Buddhist country.

    Jake Wednesday, 23 December 2020 07:21 PM

    It raises questions if there was any foul play. It sounds similar to the Mahara incident where they were hastily trying to cremate the dead individuals without proper autopsy or investigation. Trying to conceal the matter the individuals were shot. Well played, whatever happens now we will never know the truth.

    K.L Pathirana Wednesday, 23 December 2020 07:33 PM

    This child didn't have to die if proper care is allowed from the parents. No one at the LRH is capable of infant care as her own mother. These doctors not only failed to save an infant's life but they also failed their basic ethics and humanity.

    Zeeum Wednesday, 23 December 2020 08:05 PM

    Government is trying hard to keep the 69% guys dipped in fear psychosis and racism as they did for presidential election so that they can leverage on the same feeling for the upcoming election too. You are not going to see a developed nation for a century

    Buddhist Wednesday, 23 December 2020 08:15 PM

    This should be taken to international Jurists. Corrupt SL Judiciary will not be fair.

    simon de silva Wednesday, 23 December 2020 08:24 PM

    This shows the administration is run by a set of in competence set of people. They all should resign immediately

    Era Thursday, 24 December 2020 10:06 AM

    The mother has all the right to be with the child.

    Shehan Thursday, 24 December 2020 01:05 PM

    This news broke my heart into pieces. Oh I am crying. How rude our country men are.


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