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M A I L B A G

SC comes to the rescue of doctors

This has reference to the Supreme Court judgement on doctors "SC: doctor not to blame for patient’s death "(Aug 6). It will give relief to many sincere doctors who have been undergoing mental trauma, social embarrassment, and, above all, financial loss. No doctor wants to harm his patient. Why should he? A doctor’s practice will depend upon the quality of treatment that he extends. So why would he spoil his image intentionally?

We, doctors, deal with the most complicated machine, the human body, which can sometimes react unexpectedly. A patient might even react to an injection and die. Things can go wrong even in most reputed institutes. Doctors would not let a patient die. We do make mistakes and cannot be 100 per cent perfect. But punishment should be for negligence or dereliction on the doctor’s part and not for complications which are an integral part of our profession.

Most cases coming to consumer courts are either for complications or frivolous. Before admitting a case, it should be screened by a board of unbiased doctors. That will save us from mental tension and harassment. We do understand the feelings of the relatives. But we are not criminals. The patient and the relatives must trust the doctors and vice versa. We must be honest with each other if we want to restore the old relationship between the doctor and the patient.

Dr KANWARJIT KOCHHAR, Deep Nursing Home, Chandigarh

 

 

II

The Supreme Court ruling is pro-doctor. The medical profession has been commercialised. The ruling is bad in law and unfair. Hence, it should be reviewed by a fully Bench keeping the patients’ interests in view.

My son, Manpreet Singh (18 years), became a victim of some careless doctors. He was diagnosed as a patient of positive “Osteo sarcoma” upper end tibia (R) vide FNAC dated July 18, 1989, PGI, Chandigarh. The second opinion proved fatal. Doctors of Sir Gaga Ram Hospital, New Delhi, ignored these reports and did bone grafting instead of mid-thigh amputation and killed him.

If such doctors go scot free, God alone knows the fate of patients. I appeal to the Supreme Court to reconsider its ruling, keeping the patient’s interest in mind.

B.S. MAKOL, Chandigarh

III

The editorial “Doctors are not criminals” (Aug 7) rightly emphasises that doctors are healers but not killers. Every doctor should work to weed out malpractices like stealing kidneys, recommending costly tests for the sake of commission and performing avoidable surgeries for making fast buck. When the Supreme Court has come forward to help doctors, the latter should live up to their expectations and strive to restore the lost glory of the medical profession.

Though doctors also need money to remain at par with other sections of society and as a reward of their long and hard journey to become a doctor, this cannot justify the malpractices.

Dr TIRATH GARG, Aarti Hospital, Ferozepur City

IV

The editorial “Doctors are not criminals” rightly appreciates the Supreme Court ruling. Besides the student-teacher relationship, the patient-doctor relationship may be described as an epitome of soul-to-soul relationship.

The medical science, though highly advanced, is shrouded in mystery. Some diseases, though tackled by brilliant and experienced doctors, do not show appreciable results because of their very nature. Many a time, opinions of super specialists differ over a single case.

Every doctor knows that a person treated well by him/her will bring him name and fame. So no doctor will deliberately commit a mistake as to play havoc with the life of the patient.

Dr ANUP K. GAKKHAR, Reader, Dayanand Ayurvedic College, Jalandhar

V

The Supreme Court judgement against holding the doctor responsible for criminal negligence, without providing the high degree of carelessness, will boost the moral of the doctors and the medical profession. This will promote efficiency and care in the treatment of patients. The judgement will also increase the mutual faith between the doctors and the patients.

Dr S.N. SINGLA, Singla Surgical Hospital, Kaithal

VI

We welcome the Supreme Court ruling that a doctor cannot be punished for the death of a patient during the treatment due to error of judgement or accident. Doctors would hereafter be able to work without the fear of criminal cases. This will help provide better medical care in emergency cases where even a few minutes matter most.

The attitude of defensive practice will go away and the doctor’s prime aim will be to provide the very best possible care without any fear of criminal cases being filed against him.

Dr D.S. JASPAL, Past State President, Indian Medical Association (Haryana), Ambala City

 

Army lives up to its image

We are proud of our armed forces. They have always risen to the occasion in our hour of need. Recent rains have once again proved that the Army will deliver the goods and live up the expectations of the general public whenever the situation goes out of control. Clearly, the Army has lived up to its image. But this has also exposed the failure of the civil administration which has always been caught napping during emergencies like heavy rains, flash floods, cloud burst, earthquakes and so on.

When the monsoon failed this year, the civil officials were busy in mobilising drought relief funds, but there was no concrete action on the ground. Corruption and non-accountability have proved to be the golden rules of governance. Will the top anybody take action against those civil officials responsible for inaction and faulty planning?

OM DATT SHARMA, Advocate, Chandigarh

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