Doctors in the Dock for Negligence

 A dilemma. What should we do? 

     Two doctors have been held responsible for the death of a 13 year old boy, who was to be operated upon for Tonsilitis . Both the doctors have been awarded two years RI.

     Gaurav Batra was the only son of his parents.  A  terrible tragedy indeed for the family. 

     The family may feel vindicated to some extent, as their precious son can never come back. Justice has been meted out.  

     Now what about the doctors held responsible for the death? 

 What do you think?

     Are doctors to be treated as criminals in every case of death? Are doctors expected to be perfect? Do doctors wish harm to their  patients? What will be result of such judgements on doctors, on patients?

     What about death due to negligence of a doctor?  

     How many are the cases where a judge has held an innocent man guilty and even sentenced the person to death? How many prosecutors and judges have been held guilty of negligence when their rulings have been overturned by higher courts? 

     We have seen a spate of cases in the recent past where new evidence and DNA samples have helped free innocent persons who were held guilty by the jury and the judges? Those proved to be innocent had served long years in prisons and even on the death row. 

What do you think?

     IN A rare verdict, two senior surgeons of a private hospital in south Delhi’s Greater Kailash have been sentenced to two years’ rigorous imprisonment in a case of medical negligence.

     The negligence by the two doctors led to the death of a 13-year old boy who was to be operated for tonsillitis. In the order that was passed recently, Metropolitan Magistrate J.E Nahar held surgeon Omkar M. Parmar, 68, and anesthetist N. Dutta, 73, guilty under Section 304 A (causing death by a rash and negligent act) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Holding them guilty for the death of Gaurav Batra at Sukhda Hospital of Greater Kailash in 1995,

     Nahar also slapped a fine of Rs 10,000 each on both convicts. Refusing the doctors’ plea for leniency, the court said the complainant parents had lost their only child as a result of their negligence. However, the court later granted them bail on a personal and a surety bond of Rs 15,000 each.

     The court accepted their bail bonds till December 29. The duo will have to obtain further bail from the appellate court failing which they would have to surrender on the said date. As per the prosecution, on June 13, 1995, Gauray, who was advised surgery for tonsillitis, was operated upon for his ailment at Sukhda Hospital. Gauray, however, did not regain consciousness hours after the operation.

     His parents, worried and anxious, made repeated calls to the two doctors Parmar, a resident of Saket in south Delhi, and N. Dutta from Faridabad – to come and attend to their son, but they failed to do so.

     A first information report was lodged against the two doctors at Greater Kailash police station. The court, during the trial, had, however, disallowed the prosecution’s plea that they are charged under harsher provisions of the IPC dealing with culpable homicide not amounting to murder, which carries a maximum sentence of life term.

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