Drunk Indian doctor arrested for performing C-section on pregnant woman and causing the deaths of mother and child
P. J. Lakhani was arrested in the Indian state of Gujarat after he was found to be intoxicated while conducting a C-section on pregnant 22-year-old Kaminiben Chachi
A doctor who performed a Cesarean section on a pregnant woman while in an inebriated state and was responsible for the death of both the woman and the newborn child has been arrested. The incident unfolded in Botad district in the western Indian state of Gujarat late on the night of Monday, November 26, with the doctor identified as P. J. Lakhani.
According to India Today, 22-year-old Kaminiben Chachi was brought to the government-run Sonawala Hospital, located 160 kilometers from the state's capital in Ahmedabad, to deliver her child. Lakhani, who is a senior doctor with substantial experience and had been working at the hospital for the last 15 years, was put in charge of the delivery.
But the baby was declared dead soon after the C-section and the mother would pass away a short while later. The BBC reported that the waiting family was told that the baby had died and that the mother was bleeding profusely. They decided to shift the mother to a private hospital, but she would die on the way.
The victims' family went back to the hospital to talk to Lakhani and found him in an intoxicated state. A breathalyzer test was administered on Lakhani by the police, and it was determined that he was drunk while conducting the operation. He was taken into custody soon after.
The police revealed that Lakhani had called them and asked them for help because he was afraid the family would attack him once they learned of the deaths of the mother and child. "We found that he was drunk when we arrived so we arrested him," an officer said.
Speaking about the incident, Botad Superintendent of Police Harshad Mehta said, "The police found that the doctor was drunk while on duty. He was first booked under the Prohibition Act and was arrested. His blood sample was sent for testing."
Gujarat is one of the few states in India where prohibition is in force, meaning alcohol consumption is illegal. "As per Supreme Court guidelines, only a committee headed by a civil surgeon can determine negligence charges. If the report is positive, we will book him under provisions of IPC related to negligence," Mehta said.
The hospital has formed a committee headed by the civil surgeon and will further investigate the cause of the woman's death and examine and determine the extent of negligence by Lakhani. India Today stated that the accused's status as a Class II official has also meant that the District Development Officer has been made privy to his arrest. Chachi's body was sent to Bhavnagar Civil Hospital for a postmortem.