Minor rape victim’s premature baby dies

first_imgThe baby boy who was prematurely delivered following the Supreme Court’s order to terminate the pregnancy of a 13-year-old rape victim, succumbed on Sunday at the State-run JJ Hospital. The baby was delivered on September 8 at 32 weeks and weighed 1.8 kg. While he was stable for a few hours after being shifted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), he developed breathing difficulties on Saturday, after which he was placed on ventilator support. Given the premature birth, his lungs, like other organs, had not fully developed. “The baby passed away at 10 a.m. on Sunday,” confirmed a doctor from the hospital. Medical experts said that premature babies can develop complications but with good NICU care, babies as small as 700 grams in weight have survived. Exceptional casesWhile the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, 1971, allows termination only up to 20 weeks, Section 5 of the Act provides an exception to the doctor in good faith, only if immediate termination is the only way to save the mother’s life. Kandivali-based gynaecologist Dr. Kartik Bhagat, who first detected the girl’s pregnancy, said that this is “not as easy as it sounds”. “Legally, termination of pregnancies is allowed only up to 20 weeks. If I had to apply the Section 5 of MTP Act in this case, the mother’s life was not in immediate danger for me to carry out a termination,” said Dr. Bhagat, who immediately referred the case to another gynaecologist, Dr. Nikhil Datar, for the legal procedures. By the time all the necessary procedures, including the filing of the FIR, medical examination, the submission of a petition in the Supreme Court and that of a medical report by team of doctors was completed, the girl was in the 31st week of her pregnancy. On September 6, the SC allowed the termination of the pregnancy, which was to be carried out two days later. But on September 8, the doctors delivered a baby boy.last_img


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