Birth Certificate and Identity
For me my birth certificate is a pain in the neck.
I will elaborate it later but the purpose of the piece to enlighten the masses what should be its contents.
If the birth certificate makes you be identified, disenfranchised and discriminated, it is an illegal document to begin with.
I think that is the purpose it serves now.
For me there are only very few elements that are essential and the rest are redundant.
1. The DATE.
2. A.M. or P.M.
3. Name of the Holder (whether given or by descent is immaterial)
4. Sex of the infant (mind you some are not properly determined at birth and with testicles undescended)
5. The NAME of the Mother
6. The NAME of the Putative Father (this I am prepared to take off since there are many births, the real father is not known for certain).
But if a child is born to a underage girl, it is legally essential to name it as the putative father or probable biological father.
7. Biological Father (Confirmed by DNA matching and should be filled only by court order and by a Magistrate of Courts only).
If you look at all the above except A.M. and P.M. are essential items for legal purposes.
So it is a legal document which bears no relationship to my character and no meaning too.
I have used A.M and P.M since our nurses work on A.M and P.M basis and few unfortunate interns work on 24 hour basis and they certify these notes 24 hours later and they are generally confused by their long hours of work and many glaring mistakes are made-that is why the are called interns not doctors.
Besides it's legal nature the final output is from a nurse, a midwife or an unregistered doctor called an intern.
But I have found it is delegated to even lower ranks in category by default due to lack of staff or overwork.
I have eliminated the TIME of birth to take out our Astrologers off this planet earth.
We need astronomers but who wants to become an astronomer (read my article spacesuit of an astronomer, leisurely).
There is no CODE to identify the infant at birth and the code is attached only a few days later and depending on how it is reported, the Resister bears a number not according to the Time of Birth of the infant, which should be the most scientific way and then we can use the Time of Birth as a criterion of identification.
But then again, two, three of many births can occur exactly the same time but at different places (hospital, nursing home or at home).
Then the time is not a determinant.
I have excluded the place of birth for that reason (? does it matter to the baby).
But what we need is a permanent (not temporary) address of a next of kin (may not be the father, may be the mother's mother or sister, brother or any other person) or a relative or a friend or a neighbour (it is sometimes the three wheeler driver or some neighbour who takes the mother to hospital in labour in far distant corners of this country. The father is absent, far away or even abroad).
8. Contact Address
It should go as Contact Address (to be informed in an emergency, for blood donation especially, a woman can die of excessive bleeding).
9. Permanent Address (left blank to be filled by the Registrar).
It is often one from different district enters another district with a bogus address and strain the capacity of a particular hospital while the doctor who should care for this woman is doing private practice in another private nursing home while this woman is struggling to deliver her first baby.
If one from Kegalle delivers in Kandy, the Kegalle M,O.H should pay a sum equivalent to the cost to Kandy / Peradeniya Hospital from his budget and a fine for not following up his cases under his jurisdiction.
So the permanent address should have a punitive capacity, if not, what is the big idea of Provincial Councils.
This is is one reason that I say we should abolish Provincial councils.
I say a mother from North / South should be able to enter any hospital provided that she carries a valid CODED Maternal Clinic Number, certified by the M.O.H.
I go to the extent of producing a Plastic (similar to a Bank Card) Card with all the details in a magnetic code. This card belongs to the Health Ministry and they can use it for the purpose of national statistics.
Each Confinement has a card (not necessarily a plastic one) but for some reason if it an abortion or still birth that is a valid piece of information for the M.O.H / Health Ministry.
Now I come to the CRUNCH point.
10. Designated Doctor for Delivery
Every mother should be designated to a particular doctor at 20 weeks of pregnancy. He could even be a private practitioner but he/she should at 28 weeks of pregnancy delegate the responsibility to an agreed Obstetrician on demand basis.
What I mean is that there should be a quota agreed by a particular individual not compromising the clinical capacity.
I think all the obstetricians in this country will throw a fit because most of them are booked over their capacity and they are never at hand when the mother / woman needs him/her at delivery.
11. Doctor in Attendance (One who actually delivered the Baby)
This is another CRUNCH point.
Even here it is the Nurse or the Midwife who delivered the baby is never mentioned.
The intern who runs round confused and never has a clue in obstetrics gets his name entered there.
That is why these guys and girls clamour to become a doctor.
To me all the other entries.Race,
Caste (by way of the name) are non significant entries that divide and discriminate the poor infant who has no brain to comprehend any at all.
So the constitution experts should take a BIG note of my entry HERE.
We are a divided nation at birth by a piece of note called birth certificate.
Regarding my birth certificate, I always remember my father for his lapses in memory.
He forget my name at school entry and gave part of my name and part of my bother's name which were somewhat similar sounding in Sinhala.
I did not know this till I passed out from the university.
Even the university failed to spot the mistake.
Since my O/L and A/L certificates were in a different name to what was in the birth certificate, it has given me enough mental anguish.
But it had the not so desired effect.
My certificate never came into question.
It was not my birth certificate that stood prominent but the affidavit.
The marriage registrar failed to detect it.
So I told this to one of my senior doctor friends and he introduced me to a very old senior council.
So he solve the problem with an elegant affidavit.
Both my friend and the senior counsel are no more.
This piece is dedicated to them.