It’s an image and video that’s difficult to look at and also bothersome to un-see. For a parent, the unthinkable act when someone is abusing their newborn baby is absolutely awful to even consider, yet that’s exactly what took place in a hospital in the Mecca Province of Saudi Arabia. It all began when a beautiful baby was born and then under the care of Saudi nurses in the city of Taif. The baby had to be hospitalized for an additional 10 days due to a urinary tract infection, something the parents were aware of and also saddened that their newborn had to stay under the supervision of hospital staff. However, nurses are healthcare givers and ones who are to be completely trusted with all facets of the newborn’s entry into this world. Yet, a few of these Saudi nurses took a 180 degree turn into abusive behavior and decided to film themselves squishing this newborn baby’s face and holding it around the head and neck in an unsafe manner.

Once they posted the video and photos on social media, the outrage began. The Taif Health Affairs Department was immediately notified and they took swift action to investigate these nurses who violated their healthcare code and proceeded to act irresponsibly towards one innocent baby who was supposed to be protected in their maternity ward. The father of the child was so upset, and not solely that his newborn was being manipulated in the worst way, but that this horrific act was posted all over social media. Mishandling a small infant just emerging into its first days of life is one thing, to laugh about it and play with the baby’s delicate face, head, and neck is another. Fortunately, the nurses involved were fired on the spot. Everyone who caught a glimpse of the video and photos subsequently celebrated that these supposed caregivers will no longer be able to practice medicine, nor will they be allowed to work in this capacity again.

To witness something of this nature is absolutely terrifying for a parent. The trust factor in the newborn/caregiver dynamic goes down a notch and the parent is left wondering whether their precious baby will be okay once delivered after hours of painful labor. No parent wants to believe that their baby is mistreated, and what these nurses did to this baby offered a resounding second look at the maternity ward in Taif and whether all nurses behaved this way. Once the hospital was identified where the abuse took place, the nurses’ licenses were immediately revoked, and the perpetrators were ultimately banned from ever practicing the art of nursing in any other health department. There has been talking of setting up special cameras in the maternity ward to ensure the care of newborns is up to impeccable hospital standards, as well as offer security to the parents who just gave birth. This kind of cruelty must not happen again in the future, and although the content was a shocker on social media, it also shined a light on the Taif hospital and how swift it was to investigate and fire the nurses involved in the act. Remember, these small humans who are new to the world are angels in disguise, and the last thing they (or the parents) need is a reason to not trust nurses in positions for which they were hired.