NCPCR orders inquiry into denial of ambulance to carry a dead child in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has directed District Magistrate of Malkangiri to conduct an inquiry into the denial of ambulance facility to a dead child.

Acting on the petition filled by Bhubaneswar-based rights activist Akhand, the Commission has asked the District Magistrate to submit his report within 10 days.

Dinabandhu Khemundu of Puspali village under Khairput block had admitted his seven-year-old daughter Barsa at Mathili hospital on 1 September. The girl had a high fever. Next day, doctors at Mathili referred her to Malkangiri hospital, at a distance of 50 km, after her condition deteriorated.

Dina and his wife had covered around 25km in the ambulance on their way to Malkangiri when their daughter died near Pandripani. They took her to Pandripani hospital where the doctors declared her dead. They pleaded with the driver to drop them at their village but he refused and forced them to get down from the ambulance near Nayakguda on their way home to Mathili. He had no choice but walk six kilometers carrying his seven-year-old daughter’s dead body to their village.

As per protocols governing the Odisha Emergency Medical Ambulance Service, the ambulance would transfer any person declared dead by a doctor. As per this provision, the crew denied to carry back the dead body of the child after the doctor declared her dead. This protocol itself violates the rights of a patient and rights of a dead body, alleged Akhand.

Hearing the matter, the Commission has taken cognizance of the matter and directed the District Magistrate for inquiry and submit an action taken reports within ten days.

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