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.

     Advantages-Disadvantage of being a doctor

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     21 occupational risks to doctors and nurses

     Covid paradox: salary cut for doctors other paid at home

   Medical-Consumer protection Act- Pros and Cons

US Doctor hailed-Indian Doctor Jailed for Same Surgery & gap of 25 years


      

In a medical first, doctors transplanted a pig heart into a patient in a last-ditch effort to save his life and a Maryland hospital said Monday that he’s doing well three days after the highly experimental surgery. While it’s too soon to know if the operation really will work, it marks a step in the decades-long quest to one day use animal organs for life-saving transplants.

   In 1997, Dr Dhani Ram Baruah, along with Hong Kong surgeon Dr Jonathan Ho Kei-Shing, carried out a pig-to-human heart and lung transplant in Guwahati (India). The transplant stirred controversy all over and both the doctors were arrested within a fortnight for culpable homicide and under the Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994, and imprisoned for 40 days.

       The fault of Dr Baruah was that he was on the wrong side of the laws prevailing at that time. But now after 25 years USA has provided evidence that he was scientifically ahead of his times; hence punished and sent to jail for the same reason.  Instead of updating the laws, accepting and promoting the scientific advancement and encouraging the brilliance of the doctor, he was put in jail. The result is that now everyone is hailing the feat of doctors in USA for the same surgery that Dr Baruah dared to perform 25 years ago.

        In a patient with terminal  heart  failure, life is  only possible if heart transplant is done. Human heart is difficult to be procured.

     The point to ponder is that whether Laws should be made or may be updated to promote or help scientific brilliance or it is wise to follow them blindly without application to  future wisdom. Instead of punishing and sending Dr Baruah to jail, Laws could have been modified or updated to help the path breaking advancement, which could have helped patients and saved lives.

       Such high handedness of authorities just point to an ecosystem, where scientific advancements and individual brilliance  are not respected.

       As doctors in the United States hail the path-breaking surgery in which a patient is recovering after receiving a heart from a genetically modified pig in Maryland, it evokes memories of an Indian doctor who had attempted the same over 20 years ago in Assam.

For those who haven’t read, US doctors transplanted a pig heart into David Bennett, a 57-year-old Maryland handyman, in a last-ditch effort to save his life and a Maryland hospital said that he’s doing well three days after the highly experimental surgery.

We go back in time to take a look at the case in which Dr Dhani Ram Baruah, a transplant surgeon from Assam conducted a pig-to-human heart and lung transplant in Guwahati and why that incident got shrouded in controversy and led to him being imprisoned for 40 days.

The incident                                                   

In 1997, Dr Dhani Ram Baruah, along with Hong Kong surgeon Dr Jonathan Ho Kei-Shing, carried out a pig-to-human heart and lung transplant in Guwahati.

Times of India report says that Dr Baruah transplanted a pig’s heart into a 32-year-old man, who had a ventricular septal defect, or hole in the heart.

According to Dr Baruah, the surgery — conducted at his very own facility, the Dhani Ram Baruah Heart Institute, and Institute of Applied Human Genetic Engineering at Sonapur outside Guwahati — was completed in 15 hours.

However, the 32-year-old man “developed new anti-hyperacute rejection biochemical solution to treat donor’s heart and lung and blind its immune system to avoid rejection”, reported the Indian Express, and he died a week later.

The transplant stirred controversy all over and both the doctors were arrested within a fortnight for culpable homicide and under the Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994, and imprisoned for 40 days.

The Assam government formed an inquiry into the case and found that the procedure was unethical.

The inquiry also found that the Dr Dhaniram Heart Institute and Research Centre had “neither applied for nor obtained registration” as required under the transplant laws.

What happened next?

After being in jail for 40 days, the doctor returned to his clinic but found it to be destroyed. A Times of India report added that he spent the next 18 months under virtual house arrest.

But, the doctor, who faced taunts, continued his research.

Controversy’s child?

Dr Baruah hit the headlines again in 2008 when he claimed that he had developed a ‘genetically engineered’ vaccine that would correct congenital heart defects.

In 2015, he once again became popular after claiming to have discovered the ‘cure’ for HIV/AIDS and that he had ‘cured’ 86 people in the past seven-eight years.

He also wrote to the UNAIDS, WHO and the National Institute of Health of USA to tell them of his ‘successes’ and was open to scrutiny.

     Advantages-Disadvantage of being a doctor

     25 factors- why health care is expensive

     REEL Heroes Vs Real Heroes

     21 occupational risks to doctors and nurses

     Covid paradox: salary cut for doctors other paid at home

   Medical-Consumer protection Act- Pros and Cons

Highly Contagious – Low Virulence?  Omicron-Covid-Variant


    If the initial data is correct, the Omicron-Variant of Covid is proving to  be of Highly Contagious –  Low Virulence.

     The Omicron variant is less likely to lead to less severe disease in people who have taken vaccines or had Covid-19 in the past, two studies from the UK have said.

Taken together with findings from South Africa – all three studies were released on Wednesday – there is now sound scientific basis to conclude the variant is less virulent than others, especially Delta, which caused a devastating outbreak in India last summer and sparked new waves in other countries.

The findings are the first encouraging scientific evidence linked to the variant of concern (VOC) discovered last month when it started tearing through parts of South Africa at a rate not seen with any other Sars-Cov-2 variant. Scientists soon discovered it was also the most resistant configuration of the coronavirus, leading to higher odds of repeat and vaccine breakthrough infections.

If the Omicron variant was to be as virulent, or more, than Delta, the implications would have been dire, although its high transmissibility and resistance still pose a threat.

“Our analysis shows evidence of a moderate reduction in the risk of hospitalisation associated with the Omicron variant compared with the Delta variant. However, this appears to be offset by the reduced efficacy of vaccines against infection with the Omicron variant. Given the high transmissibility of the Omicron virus, there remains the potential for health services to face increasing demand if Omicron cases continue to grow at the rate that has been seen in recent weeks,” said professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London, which released the analysis of Omicron and Delta cases in England.

Two UK studies, similar severity findings

The Imperial College study included all RT-PCR-confirmed Covid-19 cases recorded between December 1-14 in England. It found that Omicron cases have, on average, a 15-20% reduced risk of needing to visit a hospital (the lowest level of severity) and an approximately 40-45% reduced risk of a hospitalisation resulting in a stay of one or more nights.

It also found that a past infection offered approximately a 50-70% reduction in hospitalisation risk compared. All of these comparisons were made against risks of hospitalisation seen with the Delta variant.

The researchers estimate that in unvaccinated people being infected for the first time, the risk of hospitalisation may be lowered by 0-30%, suggesting the severity in completely immune-naive people may not be very different from those who had a Delta infection for the first time, without any vaccine.

The other UK study was from Scotland. Although based on a small number of hospitalisations, the study made similar findings: those with Omicron infections were 68% less likely to need hospitalisation compared to people infected with the Delta variant.

Both reports, as well as the South African study, are yet to be peer-reviewed.

The Imperial College researchers also said in their study that Omicron infections in people with vaccination may be even less likely to require ICU admission or lead to death when compared to Delta variant, “given that remaining immune protection against more severe outcomes of infection are expected to be much higher than those against milder endpoints”.

Need for vaccines, boosters

The detailed findings corroborate lab studies that show people with booster doses have a more adequate immune response to counter the Omicron variant. In their real-world analysis, the Scotland report found a 57% reduction in the risk of symptomatic infection in people who were infected with the VOC compared to those who just had two doses at least 25 weeks prior.

The detailed Imperial College findings made similar findings. For instance, people with two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine (used in India as the Covishield vaccine), had a higher risk ratio of 0.37 than those with three doses of the same vaccine (0.21). These risk ratios mean two doses reduced the risk of hospitalisation by 63% while three doses cut it by 79%.

Crucially, the report added, people who took the AstraZeneca vaccine had a lower risk in needing to visit a hospital if infected by the Omicron variant when compared to the equivalent risk in the case of a Delta variant infection. In the case of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, the likelihood of requiring a hospital visit – defined as the lowest level of severity – were similar between Omicron and Delta infections.

The report also stressed on the need to vaccinate the unvaccinated, especially those who did not have a past infection. “The proportion of unvaccinated individuals infected is likely to be substantially higher. In that context, our finding that a previous infection reduces the risk of any hospitalisation by approximately 50% and the risk of a hospital stay of 1+ days by 61% (before adjustments for under ascertainment of reinfections) is significant,” the report said.

  Most cases In India Asymptomatic

With reports of new cases surfacing, the overall number of Omicron cases in India has now reached 33. According to experts, the spread of the new variant is less concerning than that of Delta as the symptoms are mild. While this is partly because of the nature of this new variant, another reason might be the high rate of seropositivity of Indians, experts have said.

“India has the advantage of a very high rate of ‘seropositivity’ of 70, 80 per cent, and in big cities more than 90 per cent people already have antibodies,” Rakesh Mishra, former Director of CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) here, told PTI. Even if people get infected by Omicron, it will be very mild and mostly asymptomatic, Mishra said.

India’s Omicron tally rises to 33: Tracing Covid-19’s new variant in various states

A fresh wave of the pandemic may come even without Omicron, Mishra said referring to the fresh waves in Europe. Ruling out the possibility of a surge in hospitalisation, he said wearing the mask, maintaining social distancing and getting vaccinated remain the three major weapons against future waves.

All Omicron cases in India are mild and there has been no report of Omicron death in India and in any country of the world. The common symptoms are weakness, sore throat etc. Many Omicron patients of India have already recovered and tested negative for Covid.

Capital Delhi reported a new Omicron case on Saturday as a Zimbabwe-returnee tested positive. Reports said the patient only complained of weakness.

Advantages-Disadvantage of being a doctor

     25 factors- why health care is expensive

     REEL Heroes Vs Real Heroes

     21 occupational risks to doctors and nurses

     Covid paradox: salary cut for doctors other paid at home

   Medical-Consumer protection Act- Pros and Cons

Medical Education: Doctors- Victims of Grave Injustice Expected to Impart Justice to all


        Non-uniformity of medical education is treating  medical students  as  slaves and  killing enthusiasm of young doctors.

    Medical profession is an extremely strenuous and highly specialised field that requires individuals to dedicate their lives in the service of others. As part of medical professionals’ education and training, they are necessitated to undertake training across various settings. In this context, a stipend is paid as a matter of right and not charity. It is therefore essential that parity and equity be maintained across all medical institutions, whether run by private bodies or by the government.    In absence of proper Governance and rules, the young doctors are thrown at the mercy of cruel businessman for proper pay and working conditions.

Ensure uniform stipend to Interns: Binoy Viswam, Rajya Sabha MP

Great disparity in stipend at Govt. Private Colleges

     Medical education is one field where  one can notice the  extreme  variations of the unimaginable magnitude that are beyond comfort.  

      Falling standards  of medical education is the most important  side effect  which  should be an  important issue, but sadly it is the last  priority  on the list of administrators. Each and every medical college can be different and student passing out of many colleges receive below average medical education.

     Another important  variation is in the stipend and remuneration of  young  trainee doctors receive. It varies from college to college, city to city, state to state as well as North to  South and East to West. Besides being a cause for heartburn. it is a cause for  extreme  dissatisfaction among medical students.

      Needless to say the arbitrariness exercised  by various authorities to pay  them at their will is a reflection of grave injustice imposed by administrators.

    Another arbitrariness reflecting injustice is variation in fee of medical colleges. The steep fee charged by private medical colleges and restrictive bonds of Government  medical colleges in name of expensive medical seats need a sincere and honest introspection by authorities. The basis for calculations of the cost of medical education should be transparent and shown in public domain.

     Needless to say that medical students have been sufferers  of poor and arbitrariness of inept  administrative policies. Just because they decided to be doctors, they have to endure poor,  unjust  and arbitrary policies.

     Ironically as a child decides to be a  doctor, he is exploited in name of such policies of  unreasonable  high fee, poor education and low pay. That too while working in  extremely inhuman   conditions,  long and hard working hours. Strangely these medical students  suffer grave injustice  inflicted by the society  since  start of their medical education, but when they become doctors, everyone  expects sympathy, empathy and honesty.

    In absence of proper Governance and rules, the young doctors are thrown at the mercy of cruel businessman.

      Still the sufferers of grave  injustice themselves  are expected to impart justice to everyone  along with  burden  of mistrust.

Ensure uniform stipend to Interns: Great disparity in stipend at Govt. Private Colleges

Binoy Viswam, Rajya Sabha MP, has urged Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya to ensure equity in payment of internship to medical students in private and government medical colleges across the country.In a letter to the Minister, Mr. Viswam said that the National Medical Commission’s Draft Regulations on Compulsory Rotating Internship, 2021, issued on April 21 and gazetted on November 18, had said that all interns shall be paid stipend “as fixed by the appropriate fee fixation authority as applicable to the institution/university/State.”

Ambiguity

“The phrasing of this provision allowed for great ambiguity and arbitrariness. It may also result in management of private colleges denying stipend to the interns as they have complete discretion without any safeguarding mechanism. The ramifications of the same are already being seen in colleges across the country as great variance exists in stipend amounts being paid in government colleges as opposed to private colleges,” he pointed out.

A right, not charity

Mr. Viswam said that medical profession was an extremely strenuous and highly specialised field that required individuals to dedicate their lives in the service of others. “As part of medical professionals’ education and training, they are necessitated to undertake internships across various settings. In this context, a stipend is paid as a matter of right and not charity. It is therefore essential that parity and equity be maintained across all medical institutions, whether run by private bodies or by the government,” he said.

The MP requested the Minister to consult with all stakeholders, including State governments, medical college managements, medical professionals, and students to formulate a policy that ensures equity among medical students. A uniform stipend to all interns would ensure that, he added.

The erstwhile Medical Council of India had come up with a public notice on January 25, 2019, on Graduate Medical Education Regulations, 1997. The Board of Governors that superseded the MCI was considering a provision that said “All the candidates pursuing compulsory rotating internship at the institution from which MBBS course was completed, shall be paid stipend on par with the stipend being paid to the interns of the State government medical institution/Central government medical institution in the State/Union Territory where the institution is located.” However, it was not gazetted until the Board was dissolved.

     Advantages-Disadvantage of being a doctor

     25 factors- why health care is expensive

     REEL Heroes Vs Real Heroes

     21 occupational risks to doctors and nurses

     Covid paradox: salary cut for doctors other paid at home

   Medical-Consumer protection Act- Pros and Cons

The Book-‘At the Horizon of Life & Death’: Doctors’ struggle with death


The 300-page book contains 20 stories divided into three parts viz – Larva & Pupa Syndrome, Hope & Fear & Medical Lawsuits. The book is available worldwide on Kindle Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Tolino, Kobo, Scibd, BorrowBox, Baker & Taylor , Vivilo, Overdrive  etc.

      While doctors are usually blamed for any mishap, be it natural poor prognosis or genuine complications, rarely people get to know their side of the story — how a dying patient affects their psyche, how they deal with these patients and their kith and kin, what are the kinds of abuse and threats made when they are not able to save a life despite their best efforts. Dr Pankaj Kumar, Director Critical Care at a Delhi Hospital, India has come out with an insightful account of these very aspects of a doctor’s life.

         His book ‘At the Horizon of Life & Death’ is a Reality Fiction that reflects the sensitivity involved in dealing with patients facing death.

     Through the eyes of its protagonist Dr Anand, the book captures significant moments in the treatment trajectory of critical patients. The book tries to create awareness regarding pertinent issues faced by the medical professionals like demoralisation, expensive medical education, the extreme pressure and suicidal ideation, the plight of the nurses and support staff, assaults and violence and the medico-legal intricacies involved in day-to-day practice among others. The author has also taken care to guide aspiring doctors to make well-informed career decisions.

     Part One (Larva & Pupa Syndrome)-  talks about the expensive medical education, and the issues students face in medical college.

    Part Two (Hope & Fears) talks about the beginning of doctors’ professional journey, the disease demons they face while dealing with critical patients, dilemmas of doctors and patients near death situations.

    Part Three (Medical Lawsuits) is about how doctors are always working under the threat of medico-legal lawsuits.

        While stories are fictional, the scenarios and the problems in them are very real — things that he faced or saw his colleagues facing.

     Medical profession has become victim of mistrust generation and blame culture. Everyone keeps harping about the few black sheep in the community, while larger good work of doctors is not highlighted enough.

    The stories span from Dr Anand’s initial days in the emergency room and capture his struggles in complex medico-legal scenarios over the next four decades. This book is an effort to bring back focus on the treatment of the patient as opposed to the mistrust, legal frameworks and policies surrounding the healthcare practice.

           The book is self-published, available worldwide on Kindle Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Tolino, Kobo, Scibd, BorrowBox, Baker & Taylor , Vivilo, Overdrive  etc.

Advantages-Disadvantage of being a doctor

     25 factors- why health care is expensive

     REEL Heroes Vs Real Heroes

     21 occupational risks to doctors and nurses

     Covid paradox: salary cut for doctors other paid at home

   Medical-Consumer protection Act- Pros and Cons

 Side Effects-Implementing Medical-Consumer-Protection-Act in Haste


        Medical consumer protection act was implemented in 1995. Patients defined as consumers and hence doctors converted to service providers in lieu of some money.  Consequently the changed definitions altered the doctor-patient relationship in an irreversible way. Instead of the earlier congenial relationship, now-a day’s doctors and patients are fighting in courts, whereas most of aspects of the law still remain grey after 26 years of implementation. Here in this case even courts differ in the interpretation (among themselves) of the law after more than two decades of its implementation.

        The doctors are supposed to treat, provide relief and save lives are the most affected, it is needless to say that the way of treating patients has been altered like never before. Medical lawsuits and complaints (right or wrong) are breaking medical professionals from within, not to mention the toll it takes on someone’s confidence and belief, which takes a lifetime to build.

   The reality is that neither doctors, nor patients were ready for such a legal relationship, and the system was not robust enough for such a change.  To work with weak infrastructure, non-uniform medical education along with legal threats pushed doctors into a shell and forced defensive practice.  It caused erosion of doctor-patient relationship and escalated cost of care.

   Medical business, insurance and legal industry made full use of the opportunity to have the benefits of changed doctor-patient relationship.  Doctors were used as scapegoats for poor infrastructure by administrators and further exploited by law industry.

   Justice eluded doctors at all stages.

      It is discouraging for medical professionals to note that courts are still clarifying the law even after 26 years of its implementation.  What is more disheartening that many more aspects about the medical-consumer protection act are either remain  unclear and create difficulty for doctors.  To differentiate medical mistakes, poor prognosis from negligence is a very fine line and difficult to judge. Therefore medical profession has  become  a subject to blackmail by patients, lawyers and sitting ducks for punishments. The consequent insecurity among doctors, practice of defensive medicine, enhanced costs, excessive documentation and the distraction from the primary point of intention (treatment)  are few of the  side effects, which will  definitely be passed on to the patients inadvertently.  After all doctors have to save themselves as well.

 Consequently being consumer may be overall a loss making deal for the patients.

     The point to ponder is that courts themselves differ on interpretation of law even after 26 years of its implementation.  

The Supreme Court has reiterated that service rendered by medical officers on behalf of a Hospital, free of cost, would not fall within the ambit of  medical consumer protection act.

https://www.livelaw.in/top-stories/consumer-case-not-maintainable-over-medical-services-given-free-of-charge-doctor-salary-hospital-supreme-court-187291

     Advantages-Disadvantage of being a doctor

     25 factors- why health care is expensive

     REEL Heroes Vs Real Heroes

     21 occupational risks to doctors and nurses

     Covid paradox: salary cut for doctors other paid at home

   Medical-Consumer protection Act- Pros and Cons

 Pendency at Hospitals Vs Courts: A Comparison- Imparting Justice Vs Health


Justice and Health- Both are crucial for happiness of the living beings as well as society as a whole.  Hospitals are full of patients and so are courts with litigants. None of the people go to hospital and courts happily and everyone invariably wants early relief.

   Once a patient visits hospital, he will ponder over about the benefit of the visit. So is the person visiting the courts. Did they were imparted justice?

      None of patient, who visits hospital, comes back without treatment. Doctor gets few minutes to decide. Most of the time, for the investigations and the treatment few visits are required. But there is no pendency. In Government hospitals, even appointments are not given. A doctor sitting in outdoor will see hundreds of patients. On emergencies night duties, doctor will not be able to count how many he/she has stabilized or numbers treated.

      Even in such chaotic systems, doctor can be punished, dragged to courts or assaulted for unintentional mistakes, that are  almost always secondary to load of patients or inept infrastructure.

      The work at hospital continues day and night, 24 hours and 365 days, despite almost always lesser number of doctors and required manpower. Systems in hospitals  are designed and maintained meticulously   to have no pendency what-so-ever situation is.   Larger number of patients go back home treated and very few unfortunate patients are unable to recover, but still whatever is required- is done invariably.

        Justice is needed for satisfaction of soul and peaceful mind, is of same importance what is to the health of body. Justice delayed gives a sense of hurt and pain to soul. Pendency in courts simply reflects the grave injustice people are living with.

44 million pending court cases: How did we get here?

       There are about 73,000 cases pending before the Supreme Court and about 44 million in all the courts of India, up 19% since last year.

According to a 2018 Niti Aayog strategy paper, at the then-prevailing rate of disposal of cases in our courts, it would take more than 324 years to clear the backlog. And the pendency at that time was 29 million cases. Cases that had been in the courts for more than 30 years numbered 65,695 in December 2018. By January this year, it had risen more than 60% to 1,05,560.

Grave injustice for medical professions:

  1.   A doctor making wrong diagnosis (gets few minutes to decide) can be prosecuted, but courts giving wrong verdicts (get years to decide) are immune?

   2. Compare the remuneration of lawyers to doctors. Doctors gets few hundreds to save a life (often with abuses) and lawyers can get paid in millions (happily).

   3. Doctors treat the body and larger is still not fully known about mechanisms. Still doctors can be blamed for unanticipated events. Whereas  law is a completely known and written subject.

   4. If health is citizen’s right so should be a timely justice.

         Despite doing so much for patients, still people’s behaviour to doctors and hospitals is not respectful. Doctors are punished for slight delays and people and courts intolerant to unintentional mistakes. But people can’t behave in the same manner to courts and legal system and tolerate the blatant injustice for years.    

     Advantages-Disadvantage of being a doctor

     25 factors- why health care is expensive

     REEL Heroes Vs Real Heroes

     21 occupational risks to doctors and nurses

     Covid paradox: salary cut for doctors other paid at home

   Medical-Consumer protection Act- Pros and Cons

Justice Delayed to Doctor- Vindication # Supreme-Court # Medical-Negligence?


It has taken 23 years to end harassment of a doctor to decide upon a problem, which should not have been there at all. Practically doctors can be dragged to courts, blackmailed, harassed and assaulted with impunity just because of any adverse outcome.  So the legal and illegal demonization of medical profession has become a routine, while law industry makes merry at the cost of doctors.  Natural complications, genuine poor prognosis, and death that occur after some treatment can be easily pinpointed to the doctors. Saviours are fighting the death as well as court cases to save themselves. In this case, Supreme Court was kind enough to give a favourable verdict, but not all doctors are lucky enough. Many suffer because of frivolous cases, poor medical governance and unwise decisions.

 Doctor can’t be held guilty of negligence just because a patient died: Supreme Court

    The bench said: ‘In spite of the treatment, if the patient had not survived, the doctors cannot be blamed as even the doctors with the best of their abilities cannot prevent the inevitable…’ A doctor can assure life to his patient but can only attempt to treat everyone to the best of his or her abilities, said the Supreme Court.

      No doctor can assure life to his patient but can only attempt to treat everyone to the best of his or her abilities, said the Supreme Court on Tuesday, as it underscored that a doctor cannot be held guilty of medical negligence just because a patient has not survived.

“There is a tendency to blame the doctor when a patient dies or suffers some mishap. This is an intolerant conduct of the family members to not accept the death in such cases. The increased cases of manhandling of medical professionals who worked day and night without their comfort has been very well seen in this pandemic,” lamented a bench of justices Hemant Gupta and V Ramasubramanian.

The bench added: “In spite of the treatment, if the patient had not survived, the doctors cannot be blamed as even the doctors with the best of their abilities cannot prevent the inevitable…The doctors are expected to take reasonable care but none of the professionals can assure that the patient would overcome the surgical procedures.”

  It underlined that there must be sufficient material or medical evidence should be available before the adjudicating authority to arrive at the conclusion that death is due to medical negligence. “Every death of a patient cannot on the face of it be considered to be medical negligence,” said the bench.

The court said this while allowing an appeal filed by Bombay Hospital and Medical Research Centre against the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission’s order to pay ₹14.18 lakh to the family of one Dinesh Jaiswal, who died in June 1998 following unsuccessful surgeries of his gangrene in his limbs.

The family attributed Jaiswal’s demise to negligence in conducting surgeries, absence of the treating senior doctor, lack of operation theatre, and a broken-down angiography machine. The hospital, however, refuted all allegations, stating the best possible treatment by present medical professionals and within the resources available was provided.

In its 2010 judgment, the national consumer commission invoked the principle of “res ipsa loquitur” (mere occurrence of certain event can lead to an inference of negligence of the other side) to hold the hospital guilty of medical negligence.

But the top court on Tuesday set aside this judgment, noting the order suffered from legal as well as factual infirmities.

“It is a case where the patient was in serious condition impending gangrene even before admission to the hospital but even after surgery and re-exploration, if the patient does not survive, the fault cannot be fastened on the doctors as a case of medical negligence. It is too much to expect from a doctor to remain on the bed side of the patient throughout his stay in the hospital which was being expected by the complainant here. A doctor is expected to provide reasonable care which is not proved to be lacking in any manner in the present case,” held the bench.

The court underlined that there was never a stage when the patient was left unattended and mere fact that the main treating doctor had gone abroad cannot lead to an inference of medical negligence because the patient was admitted in a hospital having 20 specialists in multi-faculties.

“The patient was in a critical condition and if he could not survive even after surgery, the blame cannot be passed on to the hospital and the doctor who provided all possible treatment within their means and capacity,” it said.

On the aspect of delay in re-exploration after the initial surgery threw up complications due to non-availability of an operation theatre, the bench noted that it was only a matter of chance that all the four operation theatres of the hospital were occupied when the patient was to undergo surgery.

“We do not find that the expectation of the patient to have an emergency operation theatre is reasonable as the hospital can provide only as many operation theatres as the patient load warrants. If the operation theatres were occupied at the time when the operation of the patient was contemplated, it cannot be said that there is negligence on the part of the hospital,” it said.

The court added that a team of specialist doctors was available and also attended to the patient but “unfortunately, nature had the last word” and the patient breathed his last. “The family may not have coped with the loss of their loved one, but the hospital and the doctor cannot be blamed as they provided the requisite care at all given times,” it maintained.

The deceased’s family was paid ₹5 lakh as interim compensation by the top court in March 2010 when it had agreed to examine the hospital’s appeal. The bench said that this amount shall be treated as ex gratia payment to Jaiswal’s family and will not be recovered by the hospital.

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Poverty of justice-Doctors and nurses scapegoats # arrested for hospital fire


     In present era,  Doctors and Nurses have become sitting ducks for assaults, punishments and harassment for every reason, inept medical system, whether right or wrong.  An unfortunate example of  not only  plight  of  health care workers but the strange kind of governance, is the  arrest of doctor and nurses  at  Ahmed Nagar -Pune blaming them for fire in the hospital.  Strangely, the administrators and staff responsible for the maintenance and infrastructure safety are not in the picture.

      Making health care workers scapegoats for such tragedies just reflects not only the inept governance and poverty of justice but also the callous attitude of authorities  towards real issues.

Ahmednagar hospital fire: Medical officer, 3 nurses arrested

A medical officer and three staff nurses were arrested Tuesday on charges of causing death by negligence and culpable homicide not amounting to murder after 11 people lost their lives last week in a fire incident at a hospital in Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district. Medical officer Dr Vishakha Shinde, and staff nurses Sapna Pathare, Asma Shaikh and Channa Anant were arrested under sections 304 and 304A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), said Manoj Patil, Superintendent of Police, Ahmednagar rural police.

Quoting Ahmednagar police, HT earlier reported that 70% of deaths were caused by smoke from the fire while the remaining died after directly getting caught in the blaze that broke out in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Civil Hospital. Most of them were senior citizens undergoing treatment for coronavirus disease (Covid-19). In connection with the incident, an FIR was registered against unidentified persons under Section 304(A) of the IPC.

The fire broke out last Saturday at 11am on the ground floor of the hospital, where 17 patients were admitted, of which 15 were on either ventilator or oxygen support. While 10 patients died in the blaze at the spot, one person later succumbed to injuries.

Alleging that the State Government was attempting to shift the blame on personnel on the ground after the tragedy, the protesting members of the medical fraternity blamed the Government for negligence in not conducting regular fire audits, while claiming that the District Civil Surgeon, who was recently suspended, had sought State funds to set up a fire safety system, none were forthcoming from the administration.

Dr. Anil Athare, president, IMA, Ahmednagar said it was shocking that clauses of Section 304 and 304A were applied against the medical officer and the three nurses, remarking that doctors and nurses were “always made scapegoats” in such cases.

“Instead of accusing the medical staff on ground, why is anyone not questioning the officials of the Public Works Department (PWD) and Electrical Department regarding wiring and maintenance works which caused the fire in the first place,” said Dr. Athare, demanding that the arrested medical personnel be released immediately.

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     Covid paradox: salary cut for doctors other paid at home

   Medical-Consumer protection Act- Pros and Cons

Medical Negligence? Doctor removes kidney instead of stone


Doctor- save the Patient but save yourself also

KMG General Hospital in Balasinor, Gujarat has to pay Rs 11.23L compensation to patient’s relative after the doctor removed his left kidney after the patient was admitted for removal of kidney stones.

Nephrectomy due to stone disease may be a challenging procedure owing to the presence of significant inflammation and infection, and can have high complication rate. Merely because a Kidney has been removed for stones can’t be negligence on part of surgeon.  Doctors need to save themselves while taking decisions in good faith. Natural complications can be easily labelled as medical negligence because of faulty definitions of consumerism applied to complex medical scenarios.

Doctors need to be careful on following points as any adverse event can lead to professional hanging.

Communication- Possibly appears to be the main mistake. Doctor could have communicated the need for kidney removal, instead of doing it in good faith. One should remember the strings of consumerism applied to medical science and not the good intentions.

Informed Consent: Many times, surgical plans change during surgery. Therefore consent has assumed an important role in present era. There was no consent for Nephrectomy, but done in good faith. In absence of consent, Whole blame and responsibility is shifted to  the Surgeon. An informed consent will avert untoward aggression apart from legal entanglements.

Performing in suboptimal facility– as newspapers says, Raval was advised to go to a better facility, but he chose to undergo surgery in the same hospital.  Doctors should now be careful to operate, if facilities are not available. They should refrain from taking blame for suboptimal infrastructure.  

Wrong Projection of the problem by media; As the paper says- “The surgery was just for removal of stone from the kidney and the consent was taken for removal of stone only, but the kidney was removed instead”.

  Merely because a  Kidney removed for stones can’t be a negligence on part of the surgeon. It is a procedure which is not uncommon.

Medical Opinion of  experts: The news report doesn’t tell about the expert medical opinion. How in the given circumstances, negligence is proved?  Has any competent surgeon given a report of negligence or it is merely because the patient has died.

KMG General Hospital in Balasinor has to pay Rs 11.23 lakh compensation to a patient’s relative after the doctor removed his left kidney after the patient was admitted for removal of kidney stones, ordered the Gujarat State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission. The patient passed away four months after the vital organ was taken out.According to the report, Devendrabhai Raval from Vanghroli village of Kheda district consulted Dr Shivubhai Patel of KMG General Hospital in Balasinor town for severe back pain and difficulty during passing urine. In May 2011, Raval was diagnosed with a 14 mm stone in his left kidney.

However, Raval was advised to go to a better facility, but he chose to undergo surgery in the same hospital.

He was operated upon on September 3, 2011. The family was surprised when the doctor after the surgery said that instead of the stone, the kidney had to be removed. The doctor cited it was done in the best interest of the patient.Later on, when the patient began having greater problems in passing urine, he was advised to shift to a kidney hospital in Nadiad. Later when his condition deteriorated further, he was taken to IKDRC in Ahmedabad. He succumbed to renal complications on January 8, 2012. Minaben, Raval’s widow, approached the Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission at Nadiad, which in 2012 ordered the doctor, the hospital and the United India Insurance Co Ltd to pay compensation of Rs 11.23 lakh to the widow for the medical negligence.

The district commission’s order brought the hospital and the insurance company to the state commission over the dispute as to who should be held liable to pay compensation. After hearing the dispute, the state commission observed that the hospital had the insurance policy for indoor and outdoor patients, but the insurer was not liable for medical negligence by the treating doctor. The surgery was just for removal of stone from the kidney and the consent was taken for removal of stone only, but the kidney was removed instead. Thus, it is a clear case of negligence on part of the doctor and hospital, reported Times of India.

Doctor- save the Patient but save yourself also

     Advantages-Disadvantage of being a doctor

     25 factors- why health care is expensive

     REEL Heroes Vs Real Heroes

     21 occupational risks to doctors and nurses

     Covid paradox: salary cut for doctors other paid at home

   Medical-Consumer protection Act- Pros and Cons

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