Pregnant woman dies after clinic visit
Husband calls for probe

By Samantha Alleyne
Stabroek News
July 4, 2001

A 29-year-old woman who went to a clinic apparently for an abortion died under unexplained circumstances and her husband is calling for a full investigation of the matter.

The woman, Parbattie Dookie, a mother of three, died on May 29 after she visited an East Berbice doctor.

When contacted yesterday, the doctor told Stabroek News that he is not licenced to perform abortions and would never attempt such a thing. He stated that the woman did visit his office suffering from shortness of breath and before he could have rushed her to the New Amsterdam Hospital she died.

Minister of Health, Dr Leslie Ramsammy yesterday told Stabroek News that he has received a report on the matter and his ministry will be conducting an extensive investigation into the allegation.

This newspaper has been reliably informed that the said doctor was involved in a similar case at the Georgetown Public Hospital before he moved to Berbice.

The husband of the woman, Jiasheema Bridgelall of 31 Nandram Street, Cumberland Village, East Canje Berbice said that his wife visited the doctor after she suspected that she was pregnant. He said the doctor told her that she should take a urine test which she subsequently did and it was confirmed that she was pregnant.

Bridgelall said that Dookie took the result to the doctor's clinic and he is said to have given her his telephone number to contact him whenever she was ready for an abortion.

Bridgelall recalled that himself and wife visited the doctor's clinic on May 29 and she was taken into the clinic while he was left outside. According to him, twenty minutes after, the doctor told him to purchase some sanitary napkins. The man told Stabroek News by telephone that he became worried as his wife went prepared and she had sanitary napkins in her bag, However, he still visited a shop to do the doctor's bidding.

While doing this, he said he was more than shocked to learn that the doctor along with two men placed his wife in the doctor's car and the doctor later drove past him without any explanation. The man said it was only after he returned to the clinic that he learnt his wife was taken to the hospital and upon a visit to the hospital he discovered that she had arrived there dead.

The doctor denied all of the allegations. According to him the woman visited his office suffering from a cardiac problem. He said that the couple told him that the woman drank something to abort the child but it did not work. This was denied by the husband.

The doctor said that because he did not have the means to deal with the woman's complaint he called the ambulance to transport her to the New Amsterdam Hospital. According to him, because the ambulance did not arrive he took it upon himself to carry the woman to the hospital and acknowledged that she died before he arrived at the institution. But he said at no time did he attempt to perform an abortion on the woman. He noted that the couple might have visited him with that intention after the first try failed but they never conveyed this to him nor did he have any intention of doing so.

A copy of the woman's death certificate signed by Dr V. Bridgemohan stated that the woman died from vasovagal shock. The husband said he was unable to uplift a copy of the woman's post- mortem report.

The man also complained about the way the post-mortem was done. He said family members who witnessed the examination reported that the woman's intestines and other organs were dumped in the gutter alongside the New Amsterdam mortuary.

The man said he reported the matter to the Reliance Police Station. While the police have not confirmed whether this was done the doctor involved said that he has since given a statement to the police.

Parbattie has left to mourn her husband along with her three children, Amanda, 9, Nissa, 8 and Jason, 6.