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UK Police Drag Pakistani Couple From Bedside Of Dying Daughter

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A British-Pakistan doctor and his wife were subjected to violence by the Northumbria police as they sat beside their 6-year-old daughter who was battling for her life at a hospital in Durham.

According to a report in The News, Dr Rashid Abbasi and his wife, Doctor Aliya Abbasi, were ‘assaulted as they sat by their 6-year-old daughter Zainab’s bedside at a hospital while doctors wanted them to leave the room so her life support could be switched off for her to die’.

According to the report, their daughter had complex needs due to a rare degenerative condition and doctors had told the couple that there were no chances of her survival and that they’d turning off her life support. She died a week after her parents were forcibly removed from the hospital exactly a year ago.

The incident came to light after a year because Abbasi was not allowed to go public with details of his ordeal due to ‘reporting restrictions’ placed on the incident. “He had to fight a complex legal battle to be able to tell their story to the world and to obtain footage from the police,” it was reported.

Last year, the couple told the doctors not to take their daughter off the ventilator as she was doing fine and responding well to treatment. According to Daily Mail, “The couple clashed with Zainab’s doctors for years over her treatment. They say that on two previous occasions when Zainab was critically ill they had successfully argued for her to be treated with steroids instead of having life support withdrawn, and were proved correct when her condition improved.”

However, doctors decided to switch off her life support in a meeting with the parents.

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“On August 19, doctors told the Abbasis that Zainab was dying. An audio recording reveals how one doctor told them that ‘the next steps would involve taking her off the ventilator’. Rashid and Aliya pleaded for further tests, but one of the doctors refused, saying the process of moving Zainab on to palliative care needed to start ‘straight away’. Rashid told them they would have to get a court order to do so,” reported Daily Mail.

“Abbasi, a respiratory expert who works at a different hospital, stormed out of the meeting but hospital staff then called police, claiming he pushed a senior doctor who attempted to prevent him returning to his daughter’s bedside. Half an hour later, four police officers and two security guards gathered at Zainab’s bedside where the devastated Abbasis and one of their sons were quietly comforting her,” it added.

The police then forcibly removed the couple from the hospital’s premises.

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Naya Daur