Apparently, India has these ‘voluntary’ sterilization drives to reduce overpopulation. I put ‘voluntary’ in quotes because these kinds of programs have an ethical catch: they pay women a small amount to have the service done, so for some desperately poor women, it may be more of a necessary sacrifice they have to make to survive. There may be another catch, too: at least one of them was incompetently run.
More than 80 women underwent surgery for laparoscopic tubectomies at a free government-run camp in the central state of Chhattisgarh on Saturday. Of these, about 60 fell ill shortly afterwards, officials in the state said.
Eight have died. Ten are in critical care. I don’t think a 75% failure rate for a routine operation is going to reassure people that this is a safe health choice.
You might be wondering how this could happen. Wonder no more.
The Indian Express daily said the operations in Chhattisgarh were carried out by a single doctor and his assistant in about five hours. “There was no negligence. He is a senior doctor. We will probe [the incident],” the chief medical officer of Bilaspur, RK Bhange, told the newspaper.
I don’t think a non-negligent doctor would whip through 80 patients at the average rate of one every 3.75 minutes. To the problem of a hack with a knife, let’s add the incompetent, CYA-management of ranking medical administrators in the district. Everyone with any confidence that there will be a serious “probe” of the matter, raise your hands.