In a Bengaluru hospital, a young couple with their son who required a delicate surgical procedure. But they weren’t looking for a doctor. Rather, they were demanding to perform the procedure themselves.

They had allegedly watched an online video, which chronicled the operation, and stated that they did not want any doctors to intervene.

“They brought their son in and said that they didn’t want us to do anything but provide the set-up. They said they’d seen an instructional video and that they wanted to undertake the procedure themselves along with a nurse,” said Dr Rohit*, who oversaw the patient.

When the hospital refused to comply with the bizarre request, the couple then took their son elsewhere, against the advice of doctors. “The procedure wasn’t life-threatening per se, but it was definitely something that required attention,” added the doctor calling it a “semi-urgent” one.

In another case in July, a 28-year-old woman died due to childbirth-related complications after she and her husband allegedly attempted to perform a live delivery at home after watching YouTube videos. Reports stated that the couple had watched several home birth videos online and the family did not take the woman to the hospital, opting to carry out the procedure at home instead. The couple was reportedly guided by friends of theirs who did not believe in modern medicine.

“People really need to understand that doctors are trained to take up these operations. We know of the possible complications that can arise for a particular individual and what needs to be done in case of any such emergencies,” states Dr Swathi S, a general physician from Chennai. “People should not follow videos as some instructional manual.”

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