Woman dies after Unani doctor performs 'surgery' on her

Having been on the run for 15 days, a 26-year-old Unani doctor finally surrendered to the police on Wednesday. She had caused the death of a 25-year-old patient by performing a procedure on her, even though she didn’t have the know-how, the licence, or the degree to do so.

The JJ Marg police said that on November 4, Sumaya Mansuri was admitted to the clinic run by the accused Sufiya Sheikh, to undergo dilation and curettage, a procedure performed to scrape out tissue lining the uterine walls after a miscarriage.

Dr Quack: The victim Sumaya Mansuri (inset) was brought to Salim clinic for a surgery, which was run by the accused Sufiya Sheikh (in burqa)

Sufiya allegedly performed the procedure even though she wasn’t licensed to do so, and had never performed it in the past. Even though she holds only a Bachelor of Unani Medicines and Surgery (BUMS) degree, the board outside her clinic claimed she was a ‘physician’ and provided no other details about what kind of a physician she was.

Sumaya, resident of Bhendi Bazaar, had carried her baby for only two months when the miscarriage took place. A family member said, “After the miscarriage, she went to a hospital in Mumbai Central on November 3, where she was told that the cleaning operation would be performed on November 9. She even paid Rs 2,000 for the same.”

A few hours later, she started experiencing pain in her stomach. She went to the local clinic — Salim clinic — accompanied by her mother and mother-in-law. Sufiya examined her and said that she needed immediate surgery. She asked them to return to the clinic the next day. Desperate for treatment, Sumaya agreed to pay Rs 3,000 for the surgery.

On November 4, Sumaya went to the clinic, accompanied by her relatives. The ‘surgery’ was completed in two hours, but Sumaya started bleeding profusely. Sufiya asked her kin not to worry, and prescribed coffee as an antidote, saying it should be ministered three hours after the procedure. Doctors at the clinic even asked her family members to clean up after the bleeding woman.

Sumaya’s husband Abdul said, “When she was brought home Sumaya was not moving. I kept calling Dr Sufiya but she kept insisting that Sumaya would get well. Late at night she sent her husband Taufiq, who is also a doctor.”

Upon his arrival, Taufiq declared Sumaya dead. Abdul claimed that Taufiq appeared desperate to bury Sumaya before the police could be informed, assuring the family that he would issue a death certificate. Sensing that something was amiss, the family alerted the police. By then, Taufiq and Sufiya had escaped.

Police inspector Suresh Patil of J J police station said, “Sufiya surrendered on Wednesday. She was produced in the court on Thursday and has been remanded in police custody till November 26. She has been charged under Section 304 A (causing death by negligence), 314 (death caused by act done with intent to cause miscarriage) of the IPC and other sections under the Medical Treatment Act. She did not have a licence to perform such operations, nor was she a physician.” Sumaya’s relatives want Taufiq too be arrested too, alleging that he was complicit in the crime.   

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