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India's girls face bias in heart surgery - study

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Mon, 3 Oct 2011 10:52 GMT
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    Parents in India would rather their sons undergo surgery for heart problems than their daughters, according to a medial study reported by the Times of India on Monday.

    Researchers at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), the country’s top medical institute, looked at 405 children who had been advised to have elective paediatric cardiac surgery.

    After a year, their cases were reviewed and it was found that 44 percent of girls had undergone surgery compared to 70 percent of boys.

    "Female gender is an important determinant of noncompliance with paediatric cardiac surgery. Deep-seated social factors underlie this gender bias," the study concluded.

    In largely patriarchal India, sons are often valued more than daughters.

    Boys are viewed as the main breadwinners, who will continue the family name, care for their elderly parents and perform their last rites - an important ritual in many faiths. Daughters are often seen as financial liabilities for whom substantial dowries will have to paid.

 

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