By Grusha Andrews –
The most important step in finding the truth about Dr Shafi Siyabdeen is to calm down.
Second would be to stop giving visibility to the scavengers feeding of human flesh, blood and after-birth to feed their impotent political lives. One must not even mention the names of those racists who have struck the final nail on the medical profession’s dignity in Sri Lanka, once and for all.
My personal opinion on Dr Shafi is that he is not suited to be a doctor in Sri Lanka. Also, my personal feeling is that Dr Shafi Siyabdeen’s career and, maybe even his safety in Sri Lanka, is over.
Even if he is miraculously declared clear of all wrong doing overnight (hello! Bathiudeen, Hisbullah, Sally and Mujibar!! ), he has lost all safety and credibility to carry out even a semi-normal life in post 21/4 Sri Lanka. After all, he is not yet a criminal politician. He does not get to enjoy the life of Bathiudeen, Hisbullah, Sally and Mujibar who will continue their loud mouths, rants, justifications, power mongering and King Making till there is breath in their lungs. And when there is no more breath in their lungs, their sons, the chips from the same old blocks will take their place and do the same.
Dr Shafi Is A Finished Man
Dr Shafi is not so lucky.
Unfortunately for him, he is not Bathiudeen, Hisbullah, Sally or Mujibar.
He is a finished man.
Whose fault is it?
The “Shafi Debacle”, I believe, can be primarily attributed to his own folly. He is an opportunistic political type who has been giving inflated boastful statements to newspapers stating he has done 8000 Caesarian sections on mothers. Using your status as a doctor for political advertisement is a fundamental violation of the Hippocratic Oath and the regulations that govern him.
Secondly, there is the curious case of his unexplained wealth.
Here is my stipulation: Dr Shafi had political ambition. He was supported by powerful Muslim politicians who in turn are known to have links with different factions within the Muslim society with varying degrees of fundamentalism. As proven by the infamous photograph of Hisbullah with the set of suicide bombers on 21/4, within the Muslim political community it would have been common to encounter and mix with the Wahhabists.
He probably boasted to the Wahhabists, pretty much the same way he did to the Sinhala press that he was carrying out ethnic cleansing. Without the full corporation of the entire surgical team, it would be difficult to carry out 4000 illegal sterilizations. But it costs nothing to boast to the fundamentalists that you are doing it and ‘be their man’ and collect millions, if not billions. He, I believe collected not just money from the Wahhabists, but also the political support of that group in his bid to enter the parliament.
I think he didn’t do those alleged sterilizations NOT because he is a good man. I think he could not have pulled it off because the complexity of carrying out such an operation without being discovered and more importantly without any evidence is almost an impossibility.
My estimate is that Dr Shafi did what many go-betweens to politicians do. Collect the bribe and promise a job or a political favor and not really do it. But you keep collecting the bribes. Dr Shafi, I believe was a player in a complex money laundering operation for which he used his role as a doctor to exchange a promise of ethnic cleansing to reach political power.
This is only my theory.
But it pushes us to wonder what sinister demons can occupy the minds of even those belonging to the noble profession when possessed with political ambition.
How Best To Investigate?
- Collect a fair sample
If there was any fair mindedness to this exercise of truth seeking, first of all the government should ban half witted , blood thirsty political nincompoops from causing mass hysteria among women whose children were delivered by Dr Shafi.
Gathering a sample of mothers for a serious investigation of this nature should NOT happen through mass media. Don’t the morons of the Ministry of Health and other morons calling for the blood of Shafi calling themselves professors etc. know this?
All hospitals retain the medical records of patients for up to 10 years.
The operating theatres maintain a mandatory ledger of which surgery was done by which doctor on exactly which day. The Bead Head Ticket (BHT) indicates some form of an address or telephone number to contact the patient. A fair sample of mothers who underwent a Caesarian section by Dr Shafi should be gathered by contacting them. Sensationalized TV news items is NOT the way to collect this sample.
A fair sample does NOT mean a sample of those mothers claiming that they were made infertile by Dr Shafi.
A fair sample is when you get a random sample of mothers operated on by Dr Shafi who are SUBSEQUENTLY investigated to see whether or not non-consensual sterilization was done on them.
- Ascertain the allegations
If a fair sample is obtained, then you can estimate what percentage of mothers who have subsequent infertility after being subjected to a Caesarian section by Dr Shafi.
Among those found to have infertility or subfertility after the Shafi factor, other conditions that cause such subfertility should be excluded.
Just because a mother has infertility or subfertility after Dr Shafi operated on them, it does not prove Dr Shafi caused it. The human body and human fertility is a complex thing. Common causes of blocked Fallopian tube patency in those affected mothers should be ruled out.
Just because you feel like crucifying Dr Shafi for Fallopian tube occlusion (blockage) you don’t get to do that. Fallopian tubes can become blocked for a range of reasons, which include:
•a history of pelvic infection
•a previous burst appendix
•having had a sexually transmitted disease, such as gonorrhea or chlamydia
•endometriosis, a condition that causes the lining of the womb to grow outside of the uterus
•history of abdominal surgery
•hydro salpinx, which is swelling and fluid at the end of a fallopian tube.
All of these conditions can affect the fallopian tubes directly or this area of the body. In most cases, these conditions or procedures create scar tissue that can block the tubes.
So those factors must be excluded.
- Did Dr Shafi carry out non –consensual Fallopian tube ligation surgery (LRT)?
If the other conditions causing Fallopian tube occlusion are ruled out, then you must take the relevant Bead Head Ticket (BHT) of the affected mother and see if she has consented to sterilization by signing a consent form. If such a form is not there, you must get her consent to do investigations such as Hysterosalpingogram or Laparoscopy to objectively determine if forced sterilization has been carried out by Dr Shafi. The assisting nurses, doctors can also be called to give evidence as at least some of them are bound to remember any suspicious activity of Dr Shafi. If it is objectively proven Dr Shafi did this abhorrent ethnic cleansing, then he should be punished in the severest of terms.
If these hysteric mothers cursing and asking for the blood of Dr Shafi can’t subject themselves to the rational and scientific method of investigating this situation, then they should not come in front of TV cameras and do Indian Soap Opera type of drama.
You can’t hang a man, just because you woke up to media hysteria one day and feel like hanging a man.
Get a grip, ladies!
And ask yourselves these questions:
1. While a junior doctor was doing this alleged atrocity, WHERE the hell was his supervising Consultant Gynecologist?
2. Till 8000 Caesarian sections were done by a junior doctor amidst allegations of ethnic cleansing, what did that Consultant Gynecologist do? Was he physically present in the hospital?
3. Was the Consultant Gynecologist who is supposed to physically be present and supervise Dr Shafi, actually in a private hospital in Colombo, Kurunegala or Kandy doing his private practice?
4. The CID should do an audit of the dates and times private surgeries done by the Consultant Gynecologist whilst Dr Shafi was doing these alleged LRTs. How many days did the Consultant Gynecologist come to work in Kurunegala Hospital?
5. Who is finally responsible, legally, hierarchically, morally, professionally and ethically for the alleged plight of these mothers? Is it not the consultant gynecologist, who has CRIMINALLY neglected his duty and let an alleged criminal go about his business for his own convenience and monetary gain?
6. What about all the other doctors, nurses now claiming on social media that they knew it was happening? All those sad academics claiming that they knew all along? So they watched this alleged crime, under their noses till 4000 mothers were allegedly made infertile? Are they not accomplices? What should their penalty be?
As the motto of Colombo Telegraph has been telling us for good ten years now, “In Journalism, Truth Is A Process”.
In medicine too.
In politics too.
In life too.
Assessment of Tubal Patency: A Prospective Comparison of Diagnostic Hysteroscopy and Laparoscopic Chromopertubation. Ott, Johannes et al. Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology, Volume 0, Issue 0
Khalaf Y. ABC of subfertility. Tubal subfertility. BMJ. 2003; 327(7415):610–613. doi:10.1136/bmj.327.7415.610