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Monday, May 14, 2007

SC verdict comes as major relief for doctors: old PTI story

KOLKATA, Aug 28: The Supreme Court verdict on a hotly debated area of medical jurisprudence -- establishing an act on negligence by doctors -- has come as a major relief for medicos across the country.
The country's largest peer body of medicos Indian Medical Association (IMA), which has long been crying hoarse about the increasing cases of assault on doctors, says it is "relieved" with the Apex court's ruling.
"This has come as a great relief. The ruling should end the dark era of doctor bashing when medical practitioners had to face the ire of patient parties, mostly without any fault of theirs," IMA national president Sudipto Roy said.
According to the ruling, the negligence attributed to the doctor must be gross in nature to make him liable for criminal prosecution. A simple lack of care, an error in judgement or an accident, is not proof of negligence on the part of a medical professional.
"We used to be baffled with the number of doctors being ill-treated by patients or their family members. This trend was badly hitting patient-doctor relationship, so crucial to the profession," Roy pointed out.
The Court had noticed the increase in cases of doctors being subjected to criminal prosecution and has laid down elaborate guidelines to shield them from frivolous criminal prosecution.
During a recent interaction with Union Health Minister A Ramadoss, IMA had strongly voiced its concern over the indiscriminate use of force and law against the medical community.
Doctors are also weary of the imbalance in a certain section of media on coverage of difficult medical cases.
"Most of the times, the patient party feeds in negative information about doctors and the kind of procedures adopted when they lose hope of the patient's survival. They resort to sob stories, which the media laps up as human interest without confirming if their is any truth in it and whether the doctor has tried his best or not," says Rupak Barua, vice-president of the multi-speciality Peerless Hospital in Kolkata.
Eminent city-based laparoscopic surgeon B Ramana, known for employing international practices in his interventions, agrees.
"We adopt state-of-the-art technology as per international standards to give the best treatment to patients. But since these are uncommon practices and not ratified by old-timers, who would stick to conventional procedures, patient parties do not seem to appreciate them and dismiss young doctors as novices." (PTI)

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