Kasoa baby death: Prosecute ‘oxygen doctor’ – Human Rights Advocacy Centre

The Human Rights Advocacy Centre (HRAC) has condemned the factors and players involved in the death of a nine-week-old baby at the St. Gregory Hospital at Kasoa in the Central Region and called for the prosecution of the medical doctor involved.

Earlier reports on myjoyonline.com indicated that the baby identified as Prosper faced his untimely death after a doctor allegedly pulled the plug from an oxygen machine which was at the time being used on Prosper.

According to Joy News, Prosper’s parents purported that the plug was pulled on their little boy because they could not afford to pay in full the required amount (GHS 533) to keep their baby alive.

On the back of this, the HRAC in a statement described the unfortunate incident as ‘unacceptable’ and a gross violation of fundamental human right.

“The right to life is a fundamental human right. Accordingly, under no circumstance should a person be deprived of this right. It is therefore unacceptable that the doctor who belongs to a profession which is entrusted with human life, and who has taken an oath to protect and save lives should take a decision, and put into action such decision to terminate Prosper’s life. The Human Rights and Advocacy Centre, therefore, condemns the act of the medical doctor,” the statement read.

The incident which has angered Ghanaians and several human rights advocacy groups, prompted the Ghana Health Service to take action, hence initiating an investigation to ascertain the facts of the matter. They have also condemned the alleged insensitivity and unethical behaviour exhibited by the doctor in question.

“If oxygen is there and it’s taken off [if it is true] because the father or mother could not pay, then we have to look for what happened. If you believe that the person will survive and you take off the oxygen mask because the child’s father or mother could not afford to pay, it is unacceptable”, the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr. Anthony Nsiah Asare said .

The HRAC suggested that rather than having an in-house investigation as mentioned by the GHS, there was the need for police involvement as they are expectant that the medical doctor is charged and prosecuted to serve as a deterrent to all stakeholders involved.

“Investigations by the Ghana Health Service and the superiors of the health facility is not enough. We call for police investigations into the matter and prosecution of the medical doctor involved for his deliberate and unconscionable conduct. We believe that his prosecution will send a message to duty bearers and service providers to uphold high standards of care especially where their services relate to fundamental human rights,” they
added.

Read the full statement below:

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