Father dragged away from ill child’s bedside, arrested


LONDON: A father was dragged away from his child’s hospital bedside and arrested after refusing to leave when told her life support should be switched off. Rashid Abbasi’s six-year-old daughter Zainab had complex needs due to a rare degenerative condition.

According to a BBC report, there had been disagreements between her parents, who are both doctors, and the hospital about her care. The hospital trust cannot be named for legal reasons but said the decision to involve police was never taken lightly.

Rashid Abbasi

Zainab suffered from Niemann-Pick Disease and the after-effects of swine flu, which she contracted when she was two. In 2018 she had a flare-up of her lung condition after a viral infection and her parents were advised that “it would be kind to let her go as she was unlikely to pull through”.

However, they refused as they felt that she still had a good quality of life, and she later returned home after responding to treatment.

Dr Abbasi said the fact they had disagreed with the trust meant they were labelled as “argumentative”. Zainab became ill again in the summer of 2019 and was put on life support at the family’s local hospital, in the north-east of England.

Dr Abbasi said “It was the same saga all over again, but this time there was a determination. “The day the police were called we were involved in a meeting lasting about 25 minutes and told they had decided they would take her off the ventilator, remove her tube and allow her to die.