A hospital has fired two doctors after a baby who was declared dead was found to be alive on the way to his funeral, before later dying.
The baby's mother had given birth to twins, a boy and a girl, but the girl had been stillborn, according to CNN Wire. The boy was pronounced dead two hours later, said Praveen Malik, the baby's grandfather.
"We knew from the beginning that he may not survive, but we were trying our best," said Dr. Sandeep Gupta, who had been treating the newborn.
On the way to cremate the babies' remains, the family was shocked to discover the boy was still breathing inside one of the bags holding the newborns' bodies.
"When we opened the bag, we found the boy breathing," recalled Malik. "I was shocked. I couldn't believe my eyes."
The baby was then placed on life support at the Max Healthcare hospital in Shalimar Bagh, New Delhi, but later died, according to USA Today.
"We are shaken and concerned at this rare incident," said the hospital in a statement. "We are in constant touch with the parents and are providing all the needed support."
"Our final demand with the government, with the world, is that we need justice," added Malik, who said his family is devastated by what happened.
Malik's family had reportedly asked for financial assistance from the government to move the newborn to a "bigger and better" hospital than India's Delhi New Born Center, where the baby was being treated. Malik said the government didn't give the family anything but "false promises."
"We want the Delhi government to take strict action against the hospital authorities for their negligence," said Malik.
According to the baby's father, identified only as Ashish, doctors told him that his wife, Varsha, would need surgery to stop her bleeding, and demanded more money to improve the chances of keeping Varsha and the baby boy alive.
The boy reportedly died on Dec. 6. Gupta said that the baby had died from multiple organ dysfunction.
"Had the baby not been exposed for so many hours after his birth, maybe we could have probably prolonged his life longer," said Gupta.
According to a Delhi government official, the government's preliminary inquiry report had found that "no [electrocardiography] tracings were done to trace whether the child was alive."
Max Healthcare said it would "like to thoroughly review the final report" before commenting on it. "In the meantime, we are fully cooperating with all relevant authorities on this issue," they added.
Max Healthcare fired two doctors for their involvement, Gupta and Dr. AP Mehta, in the case, but said that the terminations were not an admission of guilt.
"We wish to clarify that this action should not presuppose finding of any lapse by the expert group and should not be construed in any way to be anything other than an expression of our continued commitment to providing quality healthcare," said Max Healthcare in a statement.