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Govt defends decision to shift rape survivor to Singapore

Updated: December 28, 2012, 10:40 PM IST
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Govt defends decision to shift rape survivor to Singapore
The government asserted that the decision to move the survivor to Singapore was a medical one, denying any politics.

New Delhi: The government on Friday defended the decision to shift the 23-year-old Delhi gangrape survivor from the Safdarjung Hospital in New Delhi to the Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore, saying it was not political, but a pure medical decision. Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Minister for External Affairs Salman Khurshid asserted that doctors were consulted before taking the decision.

"The decision to shift (the survivor) was not political. We had consulted doctors," said the home minister.

Meanwhile, when asked if Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit was behind the move to shift the gangrape survivor to Singapore on Wednesday night, Khurshid said, "It was done for medical purposes. It was purely a medical decision taken by the doctors."

He said the government had helped with arranging for passports and visa for flying out the young woman and her parents to Singapore. Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde also said the decision to shift the gangrape survivor to a Singapore hospital was made after consulting specialists.

This even as the Home Minister said, "She was shifted after taking the opinions of doctors from Safdarjung Hospital. Trauma doctors were also consulted along with Dr Naresh Trehan. She is still critical today (Friday). We will give her the best of treatment. Be it Singapore, London or America, we will send her wherever possible so that she recovers soon."

Doubts have been raised as to why the 23-year-old was shifted there for treatment. Shifting a critically ill patient carries an inherent risk even in air ambulances. Air ambulances need to be specifically maintained for pressure equilibrium. Pressure disequilibrium can make the patient hemodynamically unstable.

Dr Samiran Nundy from Delhi's Gangra Ram Hospital has said that medically there was no need for the survivor to be shifted to Singapore. "There must be a lot of considerations as to why she was moved - political, social, emotional - but medically, I think it is sad that we send people like her to other countries when there are facilities here. Shifting such a dangerously ill patient was incorrect," he said. "If she was my patient, I would not have shifted her," Dr Nundy added.

The young physiotherapy student studying in Delhi was brutally beaten with iron rods and then raped by half-a-dozen men in a moving bus in the national capital on December 16. She has been battling with a host of internal injuries and doctors at Safdarjung Hospital, where she had been getting treatment before she was moved to Singapore, had performed three complex surgeries on her, including the one where they removed her gangrenous intestines.

(With Additional Inputs from IANS)

First Published: December 28, 2012, 10:40 PM IST
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