Don’t haul up doctors for patient’s death

Apropos of the news-item “Docs’ negligence alleged in JE’s death” (Oct 7), criminal prosecution of doctors without adequate medical opinion is unfair. If criminal liability is imposed on the hospitals and doctors for everything that goes wrong, the doctors would be worried about their own safety.

Every death in the hospital or a nursing home is not an act of culpable negligence. In various kinds of medical and surgical operations, the likelihood of an accident or misfortune leading to death cannot be ruled out. A patient willingly takes such a risk. This is part of the doctor-patient relationship and mutual trust between them.

More important, the Supreme Court has already ruled that a doctor cannot be held liable for criminal negligence for the death of a patient during the treatment due to error of judgement or an accident. The complaints, if any, against the medical professionals should be referred to the medical councils. The Indian Medical Association and the Press should play a leading role in educating the masses and to restore mutual trust between the doctors and patients.


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

Scrap foreign jaunts

The Punjab government recently decided to send all its MLAs abroad on study tours. Some countries have been grouped into four categories and the legislators were asked to choose the country of their choice for visit. Ironically, the idea was mooted at a time when the government is facing a serious fund crunch. A few days earlier, a Rajya Sabha MP had written to the Chief Minister regarding non-payment of pension to about 90,000 people in Gurdaspur district.

Why waste public money on foreign tours? Instead, why not send them on Bharat Darshan, i.e., to IIMs, IITs, the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie, the National Defence Academy, various research institutes and universities? We have no dearth of such prestigious centres in our country.

Moreover, even the Planning Commission has done away with foreign experts by dissolving all the consultative committees. Will the Punjab government restrain itself from working out such smart plans and use funds judiciously on development works?

Sq-Ldr K.K. SHARMA (retd),

Nangal Township

Lopsided education

The education being imparted to students in the schools is lopsided. The students, instead of understanding the essence of chapters, are made to learn them by heart. They are forced to learn 20-30 chapters by heart with little thinking, imagination and creativity. Students are loaded with books like a donkey. And there is no time left for them for sports or any extra-curricular activity.

The Education Ministers of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh should make a review of the present system of education in the three states and take remedial measures. There should be more emphasis on practical work because the chapters learned by heart are of no use. Priority should be given to libraries and laboratories.


Mock hanging

The news-item “Imitating Dhananjay’s hanging” (Sept 14) and “Mock hanging” (Sept 23) are shocking. The loss of two innocent children’s lives, who tried to imitate hanging after seeing the telecast on the subject by leading news channels, is due to abundant hype by the electronic media without bothering about its repercussions.

The television channels need to introspect as their efforts to sensationalise the incident have led to the two tragedies. It is time the television behaved in a responsible manner. The government should also consider legislation to restrain the electronic media, as is the case with the filmmakers.

V.M. SETH, Hisar

Use of nimesulide

Nimesulide, being used as analgesic, antipyretic and for relief from painful inflammatory conditions in our country, has been banned by the European Medicine Evaluation Agency (EMEA) for use in children below 12 years, in all its 25-member countries. Though 3M pharmaceutical, a US-based company, discovered it, its use was never permitted in the US. In all, 169 countries including Canada, Japan, New Zealand and Britain have banned this drug.

The Drug Controller-General of India has asked all manufacturers to stop marketing nimesulide tablets. However, these are still available in the market. The readers, particularly associated with the medical profession, should keep in mind that the safety of nimesulide in the children is under investigation.

Dr AJAY BAGGA, Hoshiarpur

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