(Un)born Identity, New Bombay Plus, March 02, 2007,New Bombay Plus,March 02, 2007
(Un)born identity: A workshop was recently conducted in the city that focused on identifying and curing abnormalities in children while they are still in their mother's womb JVR Gopal, Vashi. The workshop conducted by Dr Arbinder Kumar Singal at the Rotary Centre, Vashi on unborn patients received an over whelming response. The doctor explained that abnormal babies when in their mother's womb could be medically treated to prevent future challenges"It is an emerging discipline and a lot of awareness is needed on this subject," said Anand Natarjan, president, Rotary Club of Navi Mumbai (RCNM), which hosted the workshop.
The advancement in the quality of ultra sound machines now enables medical science to study the mother's womb and find serious abnormalities in to foetus to diagnose them. "The foetus technically becomes the patient. Doctors can conduct individualised treatments on the foetus," explained Dr Singal, a gold medalist from AIIMS, Delhi in paediatric surgery. He added that a paediatric surgery is undertaken to avoid extreme abnormalities.
"A lot of ethical and professional issues are involved, as after 20 weeks, abortions are not allowed," explained the doctor, who is currently the assistant professor of Department of Paediatric Surgery at MGM Medical College and Hospital. Conventional medical professionals are not adequately qualified to deal with these problems.
Explaining the issues, "If a baby is abnormal, the situation gets complicated. It is an emotional cycle for the parents, where they are initially in a stage of shock and later in a stage of denial. It is only with time that they reorganise their life," explained Dr Singal.
"Once we diagnose abnormal foetuses, we wait and see if it is a minor abnormality. Otherwise, we go in for a caesarean, if we can prevent the damage from taking place inside the womb. However, if we are unable to do anything about it, then we advise the parents to abort the child. This advice is given only when the baby is going to be liability to itself and parents," explained Dr Singal.
With technology available to deal with such cases, parents should seek information "Treating an unborn patient is a team effort involving a gynaecologist, paediatric surgeon, radiologist and a neonatologist. A psychologist is called in to help parents adapt and deal with the situation," he added.
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