The father only wanted his little girl to live and was trying to ensure that while the hospital she was in wanted to pull the plug on her.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on August 4, 2020. It has since been updated.
Trigger warning: Disturbing footage
It is unlikely that a parent who is told that their child is going to die soon would remain calm. They would want to spend every single moment with their child and to ensure that they have done everything possible for their child.
One couple in England recently opened up about their harrowing experience at the hands of police in the UK while they were trying to cope with their child's impending death. The incident was traumatic for the couple and despite the treatment, they suffered at the hands of the police and the hospital, and they were not allowed to tell their story until now. The incident took place in August 2019 and the couple, Rashid and Aliya Abbasi had to sue the police and the hospital, which hasn't been named, as per Daily Mail.
Their 6-year-old daughter, Zainab, had been on life support as she was suffering from respiratory problems and a rare genetic illness called Niemann-Pick disease, which increased her chances of dying during childhood. Her father, a respiratory expert who worked with the NHS for more than 30 years, and her mother, a former doctor, had pleaded with the cops to leave them alone as they sat beside their daughter in the hospital.
NAME AND SHAME. If you work at the hospital where this took place name it. If you know the police officers involved name them. They all need to be held accountable for these abhorrent, inhuman actions. https://t.co/BOdjPONvrG #rashidabbasi #zainababbasi— QUEEN OF THE DAMNED (@Jasminelennard) August 2, 2020
In the CCTV footage, it can be seen that after an argument takes place between the parents and the police officers, the authorities drag Aliya from behind and she falls onto the floor screaming. Then Rashid is also pinned down to the floor and he can be heard saying that he was suffering from chest pains. He said that he later found out that he suffered a heart attack. He can be heard groaning while police try to force him to sit and he resists. He asks for the emergency medication in his pocket but couldn't access it.
What happened to Rashid Abbasi, is why I don't trust the NHS. It's an institution with many issues. Who in the right mind would call the police over a grieving family? I would love to know the hosp and the drs involved. Shows even two POC NHS drs can be treated so badly in the UK— S⁷ (@_Mrssparkler_) August 2, 2020
One police officer tells him. "You have brought this on yourself." While another one says, "We’ll take you to A&E, that’s absolutely fine. Please come with us and act responsibly, you’re an adult, you’re an educated person."
"The pictures speak for themselves. They behaved like barbarians. They were not prepared to listen. My daughter was given a death sentence half an hour before they arrived," he told the Daily Mail.
Rashid said that he had previously convinced the hospital to treat Zainab with steroids instead of having her life support removed and her condition had improved, as per Metro UK. He knew that she was severely ill but believed that she could survive with the right care but the doctors from the North of England hospital did not concur. They told the couple, "We are not going to be doing any more going round in circles." Instead, they wanted to shift her to palliative care.
The hospital had called the cops on the couple who had been resisting their bid to switch off their daughter's life support. The hospital complained that Rashid had left a meeting aggressively after he was informed that the doctors will no longer be keeping Zainab on life support. He also pushed a doctor who was trying to stop him from going back to this daughter.
That footage of what was done Dr Rashid Abbasi and his family while his six year old daughter lay on her death bed is truly, truly harrowing. As Aliya Abbasi questions at the beginning of the video "where is the compassion?"— Lowkey (@Lowkey0nline) August 1, 2020
Four police officers and two security guards showed up 30 minutes later to get the couple, who was extremely distressed at the thought of losing their precious child, out of the hospital.
Aliya had pleaded with them to show some "compassion." "We were just informed they were going to take the tube out of our daughter," the mother, who was trying to come to terms with losing her daughter, said, as per Daily Mail.
Some readers may find the footage distressing https://t.co/kC2RRKVncJ— The Chronicle (@ChronicleLive) August 3, 2020
Andrea Williams of the Christian Legal Centre, which is helping the couple, said, "The family showed extraordinary restraint in the face of brutal treatment. They genuinely feared that their only daughter was about to die." Their daughter died in September 2019, just three days before the hearing about her future was going to begin in the High Court.