Doctors treating anarchic & lawless society # Doctor killed for perceived negligence


   In an act of revenge that took over two years, a doctor with a government hospital in Yavatmal – 650 km from Mumbai – was shot dead, allegedly by a family member of his patient who had died under the doctor’s supervision two years ago.

   Attacks and assaults on doctors is an indicator of a lawless, uncivilized society, poor governance and broken health system.  Unwillingness or failure of government to prevent such attacks on doctors will have deep ramifications on future of medical profession.  The impunity with which criminals can dare to take law into their hands and punish doctors instantly at will is a blatant disrespect to courts and judicial system. In absence of strict laws for protection of doctors, health care workers have become vulnerable to  assaults and revenge.

    Doctors have become punching bags for all the malaise prevalent in the system. A failing system which is unable to provide  health to the people and security to doctors. The rickety system hides behind their hard working doctors and presents them as punching bags. The impunity with which attendant easily and brutally assault doctors is really appalling, should be shameful to law enforcing agencies.

            Role of media, celebrities, film stars and prominent personalities in spreading the hatred against the medical profession and creating an environment of mistrust is unpardonable. They project   single stray incident   as an example and portray poor image of medical profession as generalization just to earn money and fame for themselves.

 Hence by selective projection the blame for deficiencies of inept system, powerful industry, inadequate infrastructure and poor outcomes of serious diseases is shifted conveniently to doctors, who are unable to retaliate to the powerful media machinery.   Role of doctor associations, parent institutes have been spineless and not encouraging.

        The demonstration of the cleft that separates doctors from the actual overpowering controlling medical industry and administrators is not given, in order to maintain the prejudice with its dangerous bias towards doctors, who are in forefront and are visible to public.  

Relatives shot and kill doctor for perceived negligence

Family members of the patient had alleged that it was due to the negligence of Dr Hanumant Dharmakare, medical officer at the R P Uttarwar Kutir Hospital, that their son Arbaz (20), who had met with a bike accident, died in May 2019.

The police are on the lookout for the main suspect, Aifaz Shaikh, the elder brother of Arbaz, who is believed to have shot the doctor.On January 11, Dharmakare was shot dead in broad daylight by an unidentified person on the Umarkhed – Pusad Road in Yavatmal. The police team found that the application concerned the death of his nephew Arbaz.When the police questioned Tousif further, they found that his nephew Arbaz had met with an accident on May 4, 2019. Arbaz had been riding a bike with his brother Aifaz (then 22) and a relative Moshin, when the accident took place.The family had rushed the trio to the local hospital, where Dharmakare was the on-duty doctor. The family alleged that due to negligence on the part of the doctor, Arbaaz lost his life. The family even had a fight with Dharmakare and they allegedly threatened that he would have to pay for his actions. Bhujbal said that during the police investigation, they found that for the past two years, the family had been looking for an opportunity to get back at Dharmakare. They had kept an eye on his movements even earlier this year, following which they decided to allegedly kill him last Tuesday. It was Arbaz’s elder brother Aifaz who allegedly fired at the doctor and fled from the spot on the bike.

Are we a lawless society? More problematic is the government apathy and silence of human right commission. Here comes the point that what is the role of our doctor’s organizations, human right organizations, parent hospitals and institutes.

   Good Governance lies in prevention of such incidents. Knee-jerk policing activities after every incident are of limited benefit.   Moreover  the  impunity with which people  dare to take law into their hands and  tend to punish doctors instantly for perceived negligence,  is a blatant disrespect to courts and judicial system.

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Doctor’s assault at D Y Patil Medical College: incident hits doctor’s compassion and trust towards patients


unwillingness or failure of government  to prevent such attacks on doctors will have deep ramifications on future of medical profession. Silence of authorities, human right commission is really appalling.  Role of doctor associations, parent institutes have been spineless and not encouraging.  Role of media, celebrities, film stars in spreading the hatred against the medical profession and creating an environment of mistrust is unpardonable, where stray incidents were portrayed as normal routine just to earn money and fame. Ultimately doctors have been left to fend for themselves individually or with friend groups.

 Discussion always revolves around the trust of the patients on the doctor. But in reality, situation is getting opposite gradually. Empathy, sympathy, compassion and trust  of the doctor towards the patient, will definitely get a hit after these incidents. Everyday  the news of assaults on doctors, court cases against doctors, negative projection of the medical profession   in the media are viewed  by doctor’s community anxiously. Recent senseless attack  on doctor  at

D Y Patil Medical College Pune  is another example. 

A resident doctor was assaulted with a scalpel and a few paramedics were roughed up by relatives of 26 -year-old man after he suddenly died following a cardiac arrest at D Y Patil Medical College and Hospital in Pimpri late on Friday evening.
The resident doctor suffered a deep cut on his face and some blunt injuries in the assault.

 

        Merely taking some token  action and showing  protest will not solve the problem. It does not compensate for the  damage done to medical profession. Sympathy, compassion and trust of the doctors towards patients will definitely reduce. Who will be  the ultimate sufferer, does not need a Einstein brain to predict.

          Formal and informal discussions among medical professional at various forums  have taken a center stage about the changing scenario. It  gives a perception that patients are loosing faith in doctors. That perception is not incorrect. But what remains hidden is that every incidence of verbal, legal, and physical assault  brings some kind of feeling of insecurity in minds of all doctors, who deal with patients.

                    This insecurity or fear of the uncertainty tends to affect the thinking process of doctors and the way they practice medicine or deal with the patients. Many will like to be defensive in practice, or try not to treat very sick patients.  Why would someone try complex surgeries with risk involved? Few will limit themselves to follow protocols. Going extra mile with risk, which not everyone will like to take. Many will become health managers or  do something else than do active clinical work. Who should risk his life while doing routine work?

  Every incidence of verbal, legal, and physical assault is a trust breaker. It is not only erosion of patient’s trust on doctors but the vice versa is also true.  As  a rule of nature, as violence increases, compassion decreases.

    Patients might get their revenge for the  naturally occurring disease, but they will lose compassion and trust of doctors in the long run. If that is the way to impart justice in this era, doctors will have to find some way to save themselves.

 

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