Peru woman forced to keep dead baby in family's fridge

Thursday December 7 2017

Refrigerator.

Refrigerators on display. A Peruvian woman was forced to keep the body of her dead baby in her refrigerator at home after a hospital told her to keep it until she had a death certificate. PHOTO | FILE 

By AFP
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LIMA

A Peruvian woman was forced to keep the body of her dead baby in a freezer after a hospital told her to keep it until she had a death certificate.

Monica Palomino said her baby was born prematurely last Saturday after a gestation of only 25 weeks and died on Monday.

DEATH CERTIFICATE

But under pressure from security personnel at Lima's Sergio Bernales Hospital, she had to take the body home until she could begin the process of getting a death certificate.

"They gave me my son when I was discharged. He's in the refrigerator in my house because they did not give me the time to do the paperwork for his death certificate," Palomino told ATV television.

"I want to bury him but to do so I need the death certificate," said the mother, who returned to the hospital on Tuesday to claim it.

PROCEDURE

Meanwhile, the child's body remained in the freezer of the family refrigerator. On the door she placed a sign that says, "Do Not Touch."

"The woman in charge of the gynaecology department did not want to let me leave the hospital if I didn't take my baby. My baby was wrapped in a diaper."

Hospital director Julio Silva said on Wednesday it would investigate the woman's complaint, because he said the security guards had broken all the hospital's procedures.

"I assume full responsibility. What should have been done is wait in the mortuary for the death certificate to be issued, to then be able to remove the body," Silva told reporters.