The Abbasis

Shocking policy body-cam footage revealed the brutal arrest of Dr Rashid Abbasi for refusing to leave the bedside of his critically ill daughter, after doctors announced life-saving treatment would be withdrawn without the family’s consent.

The arrest took place on 19 August 2019. It led to Dr Abbasi having a heart attack right outside his daughter’s hospital room. Six-year-old daughter Zainab was suffering from rare life-limiting condition called Niemann-Pick Disease. Having contracted swine flu at the age of two, she sadly suffered serious respiratory problems in addition, which required treatment.

Parents Dr Rashid and Dr Aliya Abbasi believe that the doctors at the hospital became increasingly reluctant to treat even the treatable respiratory problems because of Zainab’s underlying health issues. This caused numerous disputes between the parents and the medical team supporting Zainab about the appropriate intensity of treatment, culminating in the incident captured on video. Zainab sadly died four weeks later.

Along with Lanre Haastrup, the Abbasis challenged extremely broad reporting restrictions that have stopped them being able to tell their story in full. After winning their case at the Court of Appeal, their case was sent to the Supreme Court to be heard on 15-16 April 2024.

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