A young Kannada actor who went to a private hospital in Bengaluru for a fat removal surgery died yesterday in a tragic case of body shaming and the obsessive pursuit of near-impossible standards of beauty. Chethana Raj, a 21-year-old TV star, died because of the hospital's negligence, her family alleges.
Chethana Raj reportedly went with her friends to Dr Shetty's Cosmetic Clinic in Rajajinagar for a cosmetic surgery, without telling her parents. Her friend reportedly signed the consent form before she was taken into surgery. Soon after the procedure, her lungs reportedly filled up with fluid. She died of a cardiac arrest within hours.
A case has been filed against doctors at on a police complaint by her parents. The hospital has been shut.
"This is a medical negligence case. An unnatural death report is awaited, and a case has been registered against Dr Shetty's Cosmetic Centre over suspicion of her death. We have registered a case, however no arrests have been made yet, because action will be initiated after the medical report is submitted," said Vinayak Patil, Deputy Commissioner of Police, North Division, Bengaluru.
Her parents allege that the hospital violated rules by not taking their consent before the surgery and the procedure was done in an ICU that lacked proper facilities.
"Without any precautions, they conducted this surgery. The doctors should have suggested a surgery only if there was a real need for removal of fat. It was her friend who signed the consent form before she was taken into surgery," said the actor's father Varadaraju.
Her uncle added: "Someone told her to reduce her weight, so she went to Shetty Hospital do a fat reduction surgery. They don't have an ICU but did the surgery. Fluid entered her respiratory tract, and her friend was told she had suffered a cardiac arrest."
According to reports, doctors tried to revive her through CPR for 45 minutes but couldn't. On realising that she was unresponsive, the doctors reportedly took her to the nearby Kaade Hospital and tried to force the doctors there to treat her.
The Kaade hospital said its doctors were pressured to violate protocol for a patient who was brought dead.
Chethana Raj was a known face in Kannada daily soaps like "Geetha" and "Doresani". Her death has left her friends, colleagues and fans in shock.
Narayanamma, Chethana's grandmother, is devastated. "She had borrowed money, pawned our jewellery for the surgery, in the hope of becoming a star. We even tried to reason with her and told her we would talk to the doctors. But she insisted she and her friends would get it done. Now look what happened," she wept.