Gynaecologist Behind Bars for Illegal Sex Determination, Female Foeticide
Chennai: A salem based gynaecologist has been arrested by the police after a pregnant woman died following an abortion the doctor had performed. Ironically, the incident happened the same, the PNDT officials received a tip-off against her on account of performing illegal sex determination.
TOI reports that On April 19, the police officials received a tip-off about Dr Selvamba, a gynaecologist who was offering the services of sex determination and consequent abortion in the area. This was followed as the police had arrested another doctor Dr Dhamayanthi Rajkumar who used to offer similar services.
“After we arrested the doctor in Athur and sealed her clinic on Thursday, we decided to raid this place immediately because we knew her clients will come here,” DSP A Thomas Prabhakar informed TOI.
The officials raided the Niharika Hospital in Vazhapadi where they found at least 10 women from different parts of the state waiting for the scan to determine the sex of the fetus. Subsequently, they sealed the hospital and seized the ultrasound equipment.
As the police could not complete a decoy operation against her, they booked Dr Selvamba for not maintaining medical records. “She did not have any records of women she screened although it is mandatory to maintain case sheets for at least two years,” DSP Prabhakar stated.
Superintendent M Kamalakannan added to the daily, “We took a decoy to Athur, but we did not have enough time to make arrangements for this clinic. For lack of strong evidence, we could not book her under stronger sections.”
According to media accounts, the very next day, the authorities received information about a maternal death in the town. On this, the block and district health officials initiated an investigation and found that Dr Selvamba had botched up medical termination of a woman. The family of the woman informed the officials that Dr Selvamba had, after a scan on April 18, informed them the fetus was a girl. The same day, she did an abortion.
The fetus was not expelled until the next morning, further to which Dr Selvamba gave the woman another dose of the tablet. Later, the doctor took her to the OT and performed a hysterectomy, Kamalakannan added.
The patient suffered haemorrhage and died that evening. The family members told officials they had paid Rs 4,000 for sex determination and Rs 12,000 for abortion.
Following the episode, the doctor was arrested on April 23. While speaking to TOI, inspector Kumar Shankar claimed, “Initially, the doctor did not admit. She said her hospital had no records of such scan or abortion. But when officials confronted Dr Selvamba with pre-operative test report from her hospital lab in the name of the woman, she confessed.”
As per media, more than 120 cases have been filed under the PCPNDT Act against the doctor.