Doc’s remains exhumed for second post-mortem

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 24 Feb 2015

Distraught: Santaamal (left) being consoled by a relative.

SHAH ALAM: The remains of a doctor who died mysteriously in Langkawi in 2010 were exhumed for a second post-mortem in the family’s desire at finding out the truth about his death.

Santaamal Philip, 56, who obtained permission for an inquest from the Alor Setar High Court last month, oversaw her son Dr Sebastian Joseph’s remains being exhumed at the Nirvana Memorial Park here yesterday.

The deceased, a medical officer at the government clinic in Kuah, was found kneeling in a pool of blood with his fists clenched at his quarters on Nov 17, 2010.

The remains of Dr Sebastian, who was 30 at the time of his death, were then sent to Universiti Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) for a second post-mortem.

Dr Sebastian’s family brought in Australian pathologist Dr Richard Byron Collins to conduct the autopsy at UMMC.

The first post-mortem was conducted by a general practitioner, who stated that the cause of death was “unascertained”.

“I cannot accept it and I want an answer to what really happened to my son. I want closure and have been waiting for this day,” said Santaamal, who was at the cemetery with her husband Joseph Anthony, 64, younger son Kalliegan, 31, and relatives and friends.

According to Joseph, his wife has not recovered from their son’s death as he had called her at 12.30pm on Nov 15, 2010 – the day he is believed to have died.

“She missed his call and called him back at 2.30pm but there was no answer. She kept calling him over and over again. She is heartbroken as she believes he must have called her to inform her that something was happening to him.”

He added that the family had to wait for four years for a second autopsy because lawyers had declined to take up the case until recently when M. Visvanathan agreed to act for them.

When contacted later regarding the status of the second post-mortem, Visvanathan said it could not be carried out yesterday.

“Our laws require a local pathologist to be present to conduct the post-mortem with Dr Collins and only UMMC’s Forensic Pathology Department head Prof Dr Kasinathan Nadesan is willing to do it and he’s away on holiday until March 2,” said Visvanathan.

Dr Sebastian’s remains will be kept at UMMC’s mortuary until then.

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Courts & Crime , exhume , Santaamal Philip


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