Baby switching incident can leave traumatic effect


By Mohd Afiq Zulkifli

KUALA LUMPUR: The incident of switching babies 20 years ago, believed due to the negligence of a hospital staff in Kota Bharu, Kelantan, can leave the effects of emotional trauma as well as disruptive behaviour, not only on all three victims but also to both families involved.

Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) Registrar’s Office senior counsellor, Siti Fatimah Abdul Ghani said all parties involved would need a long time to accept the fact of the incident.

“If the three victims and their families are ready to accept and think positively of what happened, the effects of trauma could be dealt with in a shorter time.

“However, I am advising them to seek certified counselling services to ease their emotions more practically,” she told Bernama when contacted here today. 

She was commenting on an earlier Bernama report on two families who have to go through the painful episode when a twin baby girl was switched with another girl 20 years ago at birth.

The incident was discovered after the three victims, Adryani Iwani, ‘twin’ Adryana Irwani, and the real twin Noratirah Husin, all 20 years old, went for a deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) test in September last year.

Commenting further on the incident, Siti Fatimah said what is most important in the situation now is for the families involved ensure the orientation of the functional roles of victims involved such as eating, drinking and communicating proceeded as usual.

According to her, at the same time, the victims or members of the families should avoid comparing one with another, criticising or disputing things that have been understood from the start.

“What happened was a test of God, there is a reason it happened either for us to emulate or to avoid. It may also be a great lesson to those involved, both in terms of sensitivity and integrity,” she said.

Meanwhile, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), School of Education Studies (Guidance and Counselling) senior lecturer Dr Syed Mohamad Syed Abdullah believed both families were still struggling with shock, grief and confusion in accepting the incident.

“These are normal signs which are expected of those who are facing a certain trauma. They will feel angry, sad with a sense of forgiveness so that they can accept the outcome fully.

“In this regard, strong moral support from the surrounding people is necessary to assist they to be strong in weathering this stormy period,” he said

Syed Mohamad also advised the victims involved to manage their feelings well including managing their pent-up feelings by speaking up with their siblings who can be good listeners.

At the same time, he said Adryani Iwani, Adryana Irwani, and twin Noratirah should avoid questioning their own thoughts as it can affect their health.

“Some people could not accept the fact, would continue to cry and feel depressed, while some were too shocked to accept what had happened but deep in their hearts, they accept the situation due to their resilience. 

Therefore, instead of thinking negatively such as why this happened or who is at fault, it should be balanced with positive thinking which is accepting it as a test in life even though it is not easy,” he said. – Bernama  

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