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refusing to leave the bedside of his critically ill daughter, after doctors announced life-saving treatment would be withdrawn with the family’s consent.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.

Dr Abbasi said: “We have lost our daughter Zainab, but we want to take action for future Zainabs so that no one else has to go through what she did and what we have.”

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre commented: “Sadly, the culture of death has resulted in more and more of this type of story, from Alfie Evans to Charlie Gard, where deeply disturbing decisions have been made by treating clinicians, police and the courts. The family, in their grief, have the whole legal machinery tumble down on them and no one advocating for them during the most harrowing life experience anyone could imagine.”

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