‘They were imposing a decision; it was like being hit with a sledgehammer’

4 August 2020

When parents Drs Rashid and Aliya Abbasi disagreed with the doctors’ decision to stop treating their six-year-old daughter Zainab, hospital staff called the police, who promptly dragged Dr Rashid away from the bedside of his dying daughter and arrested him.

The parents spoke to Channel 4 News about the sequence of events leading up to the arrest and what has motivated them to speak out about it now. The decision to stop treating Zainab was “imposed” on them, explains Dr Aliya Rashid, and doctors dismissed the parents’ wishes to continue Zainab’s potentially life-saving treatment.

What followed was an aggressive arrest of Dr Rashid by four police officers. The hospital alleges that it was because Dr Rashid had assaulted a member of staff, however neither the hospital nor the police have produced any evidence of this. Dr Aliya asks, “where are the other body-cams? We were told they [the police] no longer had it, or they’d destroyed it.”

“We believe up and down the country there are other families that have been dealt with in a similar manner,” explains Dr Aliya. “The last four weeks of my daughter’s life were emotionally traumatic, but we were trying our best for her, we were trying our best.”

3 August 2020
Channel 4 News

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