Police officers dragged a grieving father from the hospital bedside of his dying six-year-old daughter after he had been told doctors were going to withdraw her life support, UK media outlets reported on Sunday.
Rashid Abbasi, a 59-year-old hospital consultant and his wife Aliya, also a former doctor, are planning to sue the police, according to the Telegraph.
“The incident, which was caught on a police officer’s body-worn camera, appears to show Mr. Abbasi being physically wrenched away from his daughter’s bedside as his wife pleads for compassion,” the Telegraph reported.
British newspaper the Mail on Sunday reported that Abbasi “had his legs and ankles strapped together and was wheeled away from his daughter Zainab on a trolley,” and his wife “was grabbed from behind, pulled from the bedside and fell backwards on to the floor of the hospital ward screaming.”
As Abbasi is lifted onto the trolly, a female officer is heard saying: “Quit acting like an animal, you’re disgusting.”
Abbasi is heard on the video repeatedly complaining of chest pain and asking for medication he has in his pocket. “I’ve got chest pain, let me have my medicine. I will have a heart attack,” he is heard saying.
The Mail on Sunday stated in its report that Abbasi said “he was later told that he had suffered a heart attack and underwent a heart procedure the following day.”
The hospital’s doctors had called in the police claiming Abbasi pushed a senior doctor who tried to stop him from returning to his daughter’s bedside after the doctors told him that they must withdraw life support.
Abbasi told the British newspaper: “The pictures speak for themselves. They behaved like barbarians. They were not prepared to listen. My daughter was given a death sentence half an hour before they arrived.”
The couple’s daughter Zainab “suffered from respiratory problems and a rare genetic illness called Niemann-Pick disease, which meant she was likely to die during childhood,” the newspaper reported.
“The couple clashed with Zainab’s doctors for years over her treatment. They say that on two previous occasions when Zainab was critically ill, they had successfully argued for her to be treated with steroids instead of having life support withdrawn, and were proved correct when her condition improved,” it added.