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Saturday, March 31st 2007

I Was Always Jealous of Doogie Howser

A seven year old Indian surgeon?

This real-life Dexter became obsessed with medicine at an early age. He memorised medical books and witnessed surgeries, experimenting on animals at home in Himachal Predesh. “We went to the poultry farm, bought a live chicken, he dissected it, and after, we ate it for dinner,” says his mother, Raksha Kumari Jaswal. As word of the young prodigy spread, villagers flocked to their home, seeking advice or just a glimpse of the boy. He was idolised and revered as a god, much to his discomfort. But Akrit did begin to treat some of the hordes who gathered on his doorstep.. He consulted his textbooks, discussed the cases with established doctors and prescribed medicine for more than a thousand people – including a man suffering from a brain disorder.

Akrit first gained celebrity status at the age of seven, when he successfully performed an operation to separate the fused fingers of a girl a year older than him. He taught students ten years his senior and became India’s youngest-ever Indian university student.

Sweet Microsoft Paint Skills

Okay weird enough. It gets worse though. His father has left the family and doesn’t want them to contact him until his young son finds a cure for cancer.

This is “stage parents” run amok. Not only do the actions of the parents raise all sorts of ethical questions, but the apparent caving of the government to allow this child to basically practice medicine is disgusting. No matter how much of genius he is, this kid is self educated and beyond a mere lack of training he doesn’t appear to have the maturity or level headedness to be performing even minor operations on others.

Just from the brief piece,

Akrit is falling over himself to impress; [Dr.] Mustafa suspects that the boy misses the influence of his father, and is used to never being contradicted.

Akrit Describes His Father Telling Him: ‘Cure Cancer Or Don’t Talk To Me’

While this kid’s talent may be remarkable, I hope no readers are applauding what is basically exploitation of this kid.

[I, sci: Pass Me The Scalpel, Mummy]
[Oprah Winfrey: Akrit As Child Prodigy]