Row over doctor backing Mariam Thresia's magical power

The child's parents and other relatives believed that the child was saved as his grandmother placed holy relics of Mariam Thresia on the child's bed and prayed. (AFP File Photo)

With resentment brewing among many doctors in Kerala over a doctor's endorsement of 'miraculous' healing of a child with blessings of Mariam Thresia, who was canonised by Pope Francis on Sunday, the Kerala chapter of Indian Medical Association (IMA) has initiated an enquiry into the matter.

Dr Sreenivasan V K, a paediatrician with the Amala Institute of Medical Sciences at Thrissur in Kerala, had endorsed the miraculous recovery of a premature baby born at the hospital in 2009. The child's parents and other relatives believed that the child was saved as his grandmother placed holy relics of Mariam Thresia on the child's bed and prayed.

The child, Christopher Jolly, who is now aged ten, also witnessed the canonisation at Vatican.

IMA-Kerala chapter secretary Dr Sulphi N was the first to come out in the open against it through a social media post seeking evidence for such claims of miracle.

IMA Kerala chapter president Dr Sugathan M E told DH that many doctors in IMA did not support Dr Sreenivasan's claim, especially since it involved an element that tarnished the medical profession. Hence, the Ethical Committee of IMA comprising of senior members has been asked to look into the matter and given a report on whether there was any ethical violation on Dr Sreenivasan's stand.

"Obviously there were cases of unexpected improvements in patients' conditions. But doctors generally consider it only as natural improvement or due to oversight in diagnosis. Dr Sreenivasan's view that he had not seen such an improvement in any patients was objected by most doctors in IMA," said Dr Sugathan.

Dr Sreenivasan was learnt to have informally commented on some social media groups of doctors that he had only given facts regarding the child's treatment and had not endorsed any magical powers behind the recovery.

Dr Sreenivasan could not be contacted as he was yet to return from Vatican after attending canonisation ceremony.

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