Elderly Iraqi Man Drops Dead On Live Television While Complaining About Country’s Poor Health Services

Two ambulances parked outside a hospital.
Ingo Kramarek / Pixabay

An elderly Iraqi man stopped a television news crew at a hospital in Baghdad to complain about the state of the country’s health services and confront a doctor about poor care.

Halfway through, the man hobbled and fell to the ground, dying of a heart attack on live TV.

As Gulf News reported, the incident took place earlier in the month but the footage only started to gain viral attention this week. The man was at the Al Yarmouk Hospital in Baghdad and said he was seeking medical tests for an unspecified condition, but apparently became upset at the level of care he saw at the facility. The agitated individual confronted the television show’s host, a medical doctor, saying that people at the hospital were receiving substandard care.

“The people are suffering,” he said, calling out the country’s rulers. “Take us out of the streets (protests), let the government review themselves. I came here for a checkup and saw all this suffering. People are tired, officials put God in front of your eyes and fear him.”

The man, who appeared to struggle for breath, then lost his balance and grabbed the arm of the doctor in front of him before slumping down to the ground. People who had gathered close by during the interview grabbed the man before he fell to the ground, but he died on the spot.

Video of the man’s collapse has gone viral, with news outlets across the globe sharing the strange circumstances of his death.

WARNING: The clip below contains footage that may be disturbing to some readers.

This is not the first time that a live broadcast death has made international headlines. In 2018, a well-known Indian professor named Rita Jitendra died shortly after appearing to choke and lose consciousness during a live television appearance. The 81-year-old academic was discussing memories form her life when she abruptly stopped speaking. She was then taken to a nearby hospital but declared dead on arrival.

Like the death of the Iraqi man, Jitendra’s sudden passing attracted worldwide attention, with news outlets sharing videos of her collapse.

As the New York Post reported, hospital officials in Baghdad said that the elderly man complaining about poor care suffered a heart attack and died immediately. They noted that he had not yet received medical assistance after arriving at the hospital. It was not clear how long he had been there.

“He was not checked by any doctor before his talk to the TV station,” the hospital said in a statement.