I reported yesterday that a father was forced to deliver his newborn because the doctors on call refused to care for his wife after learning she was HIV positive.
It was not only appaling to myself, but The Medical Council of India. They have set up a panel to investigate the case, and if the doctors are found guilty they will be stripped of their licenses.
Both doctors have currently been suspended with further action pending.
In tradition-bound India, AIDS is a subject of taboo and shame, and infected people face tremendous discrimination.
Urmila Kalra and Abhilasha Gupta refused to help Sunita Abbas, 28, when she came to the hospital Wednesday to deliver her fourth child, her husband Raees Abbas said.
“I pleaded to the doctors to come and help me and my wife. They refused, saying that my wife Sunita is HIV positive,” he said.
Raees, a painter, said doctors sent him and his wife to a filthy room with a soiled mattress and torn sheets.
The doctors explained how to deliver the baby, and after the boy was born asked him to collect the waste and burn it behind the hospital, he said.
Raees and their four children are not HIV-positive, according to Dr. Deepti Bisht, acting director of the medical college. It is unclear how the mother was infected, Bisht said.
There have been reports in the past of infected people being forced out of their homes, losing jobs, and even being thrown out of school.
India has the highest number of HIV infections in the world, with 5.7 million, according to data released by UNAIDS last year. However, some AIDS experts dispute that number and believe the infection rate could be far lower.