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Australian women on Qatar flight internally examined

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Babies can survive as early as 24 weeks. By 30 weeks they are considered to have a relatively good chance of survival.

Not all pregnancies are the same. The mother may not have been obviously showing. Or may have worn clothes to disguise the pregnancy.

If the mother was trying to conceal the pregnancy, she would not have told the airline or sought medical permission to fly.

A hospital, mosque or church would have been out of the question in Qatar... strict penalties would possibly have applied. An airport toilet, with multiple users and no cameras may have seemed like the only option.
No baby survives at 24 without immediate specialist care. Even at 34 weeks (I have had two at 34 weeks and Ms FM had one earlier this year), specialist care is needed. While medicine has pushed the frontier with how early a baby can survive, that assumes access to things like a hunidicrib, oxygen, steroids before a baby is born, caffeine etc. Some babies have an incredible will for life so I wouldn’t say a 30 week old baby abandoned like that would definitely die, but based on my experience I would think it highly likely, so I think the Bub would have been not very prem.
 

kelvedon

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We do not know, nor can presume who from ground staff and pax etc were subjected to this terrifying event.

My assumption was was reached from a statement made by DFAT secretary Frances Adamson who confirmed a staff member was on one of the planes but not searched because she wasn't of child-bearing age.
 

davidj

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Franses Ingram, 73, said she would have struck officials with her walking cane if she had fully comprehended the ordeal her younger female passengers were about to endure on a stopover at Doha on October 2.

 
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I commented not on women’s ages but which women had a (totally unnecessary internal examination). Whether they were staff, pax or whomever. Not how old they were.

My assumption was was reached from a statement made by DFAT secretary Frances Adamson who confirmed a staff member was on one of the planes but not searched because she wasn't of child-bearing age.
 

Daver6

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We do not know, nor can presume who from ground staff and pax etc were subjected to this terrifying event.

I'm a little surprised that we haven't heard from female pax going to other countries who were departing DOH at the time of this event.
 

JohnPhelan

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I'm a little surprised that we haven't heard from female pax going to other countries who were departing DOH at the time of this event.

In the Senate Foreign Affairs Estimates hearing today, Minister Payne said she was told by the Qataris that passengers from 10 aircraft were subjected to the searches.

I don't know Doha airport at all, but presumably those 10 flights were located in the same wing/pier that houses the toilets where the baby was found.
 
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Princess Fiona

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Equally though, imagine what would have happened to the premature baby if not found in time in the toilets!

In similar situations within Australia - the authorities launch an extensive investigation to try & find the mother always 'saying' it is because the mother may be in need of medical assistance or risk death. Depending on the circumstances of the specific case - sometimes the mother receives pyschiatric care & no charges are filed but in other cases they're prosecuted.

A further complication is that this is during CV - so whilst passengers allowed to transit from all countries they are not allowed to leave the airport necessarily due to risk of carrying CV.

Qatar could have handled it totally differently - no argument. Communication seems to rate between 0 or 1 out of 10 at best.

But how exactly could it have been done better (other than communication)?

A premature baby is found, possibly dying, and numerous planes are about to depart in the next 30 minutes. To put this in perspective - it took over 75 minutes for decisive action to be taken on 9/11 after hijacking was first suspected/detected.

In the Qatar authorities' view (perhaps):
  • their law has been broken & they want to prosecute (quite likely) under their extreme laws.
  • perhaps they were genuinely concerned about the health & welfare of the mother on a flight of potentially up to 14 hours or more - maybe for the woman or maybe for the bad publicity of woman dies on flight - who knows.
  • adopt a 'fast' or 'slow' response with the repercussions accordingly.
  • risk of CV+ passengers being screened
Fast response - use a female doctor/nurse " inspected, and touched, by the female nurse" to conduct the examination - as quote from one of two women in ABC article.

Possible consequences:
  • Limited disruption to departing flights
  • 'Quick' resolution
  • Woman does not die on the flight
  • Provides excuse of 'time pressures' if any blow back
  • 'Seen to be done' to meet the demands certain to be coming from Qatari media
Slow response - offload all adult (>12 yr old) females leave their flights for a much longer period of time (potentially several days).

Possible consequences:
  • Massive disruption to flights with all luggage belonging to the women having to be identified & offloaded, potentially entire flight having to be re-balanced.
  • Woman does not die on the flight.
  • Travelling partners/children also potentially offloaded (now unaccompanied children or male partners demanding to accompany). Raises serious issues of 'unmarried' males partners being against the law....far worse outcome for many women
  • Significantly higher risk of CV contamination as hotel accomodation required at no notice for potentially hundreds complete with security, medical personnel etc etc (not so easy as we have found out - one mistake...).
  • Domestic media backlash & potential demands for death penalty for foreign female from 1st or 2nd world country (no problem with 3rd work females being executed - see numerous 'maids' articles).
  • Likely much greater world media coverage due to 'forced removal, detention & examination'.
BTW - a quick search for DNA testing in Doha seems to show tests are shipped to Europe or the US for processing. I may have missed one offering local processing.

Of course, the incident details released to-date are remarkably lacking in full detail.

So much speculation currently (not just on AFF).

Did all the women reboard the flight to Australia or was one (who may have been travelling alone) detained without the other passengers noticing - that is something that none of the articles appear to have addressed whether deliberately or not.

If that was the case then that could explain why nothing was reported for 3+ weeks. That one complainant is considering launching a 'class action to sue' if all the other women will join her - adds some complications.

Much more information required before this matter will be settled in the Court of Public Opinion although the verdict is already in for perhaps the majority - warranted or not.

A bit like how private security guards (many with next to no preparatory training) were blamed for the Melbourne outbreak and so vilified in the press & social media despite the actual source of the initial contagion being a full-time hotel manager escorting Vic Health Dept staff and others (not security guards) to deal with a room with human waste spread contamination in multiple locations outside of the bathroom. Yet still we hear certain politicians referencing the security guards as the culprits.
Seriously no, just no.
No need for a court of public opinion.
There is absolutely no justification for conducting vaginal examinations on a bunch of women without informed consent.
Zero excuse.
I can’t believe that anyone would actually attempt to justify it.
 
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I love to travel

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Seriously no, just no.
No need for a court of public opinion.
There is absolutely no justification for conducting examinations on a bunch of women without informed consent.
Zero excuse.
I can’t believe that anyone would actually attempted to justify it.
I am not trying to act as the moral police but my professional ethics are kicking in. I would like to point out that very conservatively 1 in 5 Australian women have been sexually assaulted in their lifetime and that this incident (and thread) may be a trigger for some. If people could keep that in mind when posting it would be helpful.
 
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Daver6

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In the Senate Foreign Affairs Estimates hearing today, Minister Payne said she was told by the Qataris that passengers from 10 aircraft were subjected to the searches.

I don't know Doha airport at all, but presumably those 10 flights were located in the same wing/pier that houses the toilets where the baby was found.

DOH is one giant terminal. While there are wings, nothing prevents any pax from accessing any part. Think HKG airport style.
 

BAM1748

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If Qatar really cared aboit the baby and mother, all they had to do was look after the baby and notify all aircraft they had found a baby and to keep an eye out for passenger with possible health issues.

Then offer to reunite the baby later.

They did not need to do what the did at all, disgusting behaviour in my view with a contributing factor the lack of separation between religion and state.
 

Danger

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I'm confused by the attacks against Qatar Airways. Where is the reporting - let alone the evidence - that the airline had a hand to play in this event?

For those who advocating a boycott, I trust you are all 100% satisfied that your coffee and bar of chocolate aren't produced using child labour. And your pantry isn't full of products made with palm oil harvesting by depleting forests and endangering species. And your cheap outfit from H&M and your runners from Adidas weren't manufactured by people earning a few cents a day. And that your iPhone was in part together by well-paid, nicely-benefitted labourers in China ...

I share the outrage at what has transpired but think some perspective may be needed.
 

Guvner

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I am not trying to act as the moral police but my professional ethics are kicking in. I would like to point out that very conservatively 1 in 5 Australian women have been sexually assaulted in their lifetime and that this incident (and thread) may be a trigger for some. If people could keep that in mind when posting it would be helpful.
Trigger? This thread is discussing a particular incident on a particular flight, and posters are expressing their views on that one incident. Extrapolating those views to a wider context of sexual assault in the general population and assuming there’s an element of apathy or indifference is a flawed premise at best.
 

Guvner

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I'm confused by the attacks against Qatar Airways. Where is the reporting - let alone the evidence - that the airline had a hand to play in this event?

For those who advocating a boycott, I trust you are all 100% satisfied that your coffee and bar of chocolate aren't produced using child labour. And your pantry isn't full of products made with palm oil harvesting by depleting forests and endangering species. And your cheap outfit from H&M and your runners from Adidas weren't manufactured by people earning a few cents a day. And that your iPhone was in part together by well-paid, nicely-benefitted labourers in China ...

I share the outrage at what has transpired but think some perspective may be needed.
So we don’t rise up against anything because everything is morally repugnant?
 

SuePa

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Worth a read.
I'm glad the feisty old girl didn't bash officials with her walking stick! You know that wouldn't have ended well.
I'd be interested to hear what the men on the plane thought/said/did when all the women were ordered off.
 

dajop

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I'm a little surprised that we haven't heard from female pax going to other countries who were departing DOH at the time of this event.

But are any of us really surprised that we haven’t heard from female pax from other flights ? QR has a big middle eastern network too.

It takes a bit of hit and miss work but there are records showing which flights departing around that time had similar delays to the Sydney flight. I found Beirut, Karachi, Kochi, Jakarta all had such delays but there were also other flights to India, Pakistan, Iran etc. that I didn’t look at. Not much to Europe. And one other to Australia at almost the same time - but there’s a very good reason why they flight was not affected. It was heading to MEL.
 

auscal

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If the Fed Govt really cared about the rights of our citizens then they would ban Qatar Airways from this country until a full and formal apology, and compensation paid to the affected women for the distress, was received.
Whilst I agree the event is absolutelty outrageous, for many Australians currently stranded overseas due to Australian government caps limiting international arrivals, Qatar airlines is their best chance or actually getting home. Banning Qatar airlines would be devastating to these Australians who have been trying to get home for many months.
 

auscal

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Apparently those affected were offered support when they arrived back in Australia.

They were all immediately taken for 14 day hotel quarantine, so, any “support” they received was limited to phone support.
 

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