Saturday, November 03, 2012

Naval Hospital Ojo should be probed for attempted murder

Stabbed in the neck by a 'toaster': Mariam Abubakar Credit: Punch

Medical staff at the Naval Hospital, Ojo, Lagos, who refused to treat the teenager stabbed in a night club last week should be tried for attempted murder.
Well, yes, because it can very well be argued that they were complicit as their action very nearly helped the assailant complete his heinous crime.

 According to the Punch, the poor lady had been stabbed at a night club in FESTAC and she was rushed to the Naval Hospital, where she was reportedly refused treatment because there was no police report!

It is unbelievable that this sort of stories still creep out from time to time in Nigeria in the 21st century. And it is particularly astounding that it happened this time not in a mushroom private hospital, but a Naval Hospital.

Mariam Abubakar who had gone to Pearl Harbour Night Club in Rochester Garden Hotel, Festac on October 26 to “catch weekend fun” would have been dead by now but for the spirited efforts of the health officials at Ajeromi General Hospital.

She was stabbed in a critical place, the neck, and she was bleeding profusely, according to the sympathisers who rushed her to the hospital.

She had allegedly been stabbed by a former councillor of Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State, Onimole Babatunde, for refusing his advances.

The saving grace of the victim was that police officers at Area E Command were contacted. It was the police who now took it upon themselves to take her to Ajeromi General Hospital. By that time she had lost 20 percent of her blood, and had slipped into coma.

For how long will this atavistic practice of demanding for a police report before saving a dying person persist? High ranking police officers including the IG have said many times that hospitals should not make police report a precondition for treating anyone.

It is high time medical practitioners were prosecuted for refusing or neglecting to save lives on account of police report.

Elsewhere in the world doctors would do all it takes to save a man’s life first and foremost. Questions will be asked later or the police could be contacted. Even prisoners on death row are entitled to medical treatment until their execution is due.

This nonsense must stop.

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