Project Alert on Violence Against Women is deeply touched and shocked by the death of a young female doctor, Dr. Mrs. Hestianna Idiodi-Thomas under very questionable circumstances in her home in Lagos.
Dr Thomas, a Consultant Paediatric Surgeon with Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, was rushed into LUTH on Thursday October 15th 2015, by her husband, Dr. Babafemi Thomas, a Consultant Clinical Pathologist and one time Chairman of the Lagos chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA.
On arrival in LUTH, Dr. Idiodi-Thomas, a mother of two infant children, was declared dead.
Of particular worry and concern to Project Alert are the premature comments being attributed to the Medical Women Association, and Dr. Idiodi-Thomas’s family without an autopsy being done. Comments such as she was a psychiatric patient; she killed herself; she jumped from their first floor apartment etc. Such comments are inappropriate, and may be interpreted to mean that attempts are being made to pre-empt the result of the autopsy when it is eventually carried out. We will like to warn that such statements being attributed to the Medical Women Association and/or the NMA could land LUTH in a lot of law suits with regards to them knowing that Dr. Idiodi-Thomas was a ‘’psychiatric patient’’ and was still allowed to treat and operate sick children.
Project Alert is particularly happy that the Domestic Violence Response Team of Lagos has stepped into the matter and has called for expedited and unbiased autopsy on late Dr. Idiodi Thomas, in order to establish the real cause of her death.
The facts of the matter as made public so far are:
1. The unfortunate incident occurred at her residence.
2. She was rushed to the hospital by her husband.
3. Up on till three days before the incident, colleagues of hers said she was at work.
4. Some parents whose children she treated and operated upon have commented on her dedication to work and her cheeriness.
We are therefore calling for a thorough unbiased investigation into the questionable and violent death of this young female doctor. We are specifically calling for:
1. The constitution of AN INDEPENDENT GROUP OF PATHOLOGISTS, IF POSSIBLE FROM OUTSIDE LAGOS STATE, TO CONDUCT THE AUTOPSY.
2. Constitution of a team of medical professionals, women’s groups, DVRST Lagos, Ministry of Justice to work closely with the police to unravel this shocking incident.
We are indeed concerned about the seeming increase in reported cases of women being injured or dying in their homes under questionable circumstances.
The home should be a safe place for every man, woman and child.