HC offers no relief for medical negligence

The Madras High Court has refused to quash a criminal case booked against three doctors, including the owner of a hospital situated within Tondiarpet police station limits in Chennai, and two obstetricians, for having reportedly left behind a cotton swab inside the abdomen of a woman during a cesarean section-cum-sterilisation procedure.

Justice G.K. Ilanthiraiyan dismissed the quash petitions filed by the doctors Rajendran, P. Shanthi and P. Vasantha and said that there were sufficient materials to prosecute them for the charge of having negligently left behind a foreign body, inside the abdomen, which had to be removed through another surgery.

The judge pointed out that the wife of the complainant, T. Mahesh, had to suffer abdominal sepsis due to the presence of the foreign body which was discovered only after she consulted other doctors in another hospital following acute pain. An ultrasound scan of her abdomen had revealed the reason for the pain.

Referring to a Supreme Court judgement in Jacob Mathew’s case (2005) wherein it was held that there was a need to protect doctors from frivolous and unjust prosecution, Justice Ilanthiraiyan said: “But in the case on hand, due to the negligence of the petitioners, a foreign body was kept inside the abdomen of the victim.”

Concurring with Additional Public Prosecutor M. Mohamed Riyaz that there was substance in the case to prosecute the doctors under Sections 284 (negligent conduct with respect to poisonous substance) and 3338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life) of the Indian Penal Code, the judge said, the petitioners would have to necessarily face trial.

He however directed the trial court to hear the case uninfluenced by the observations made by him in the order dismissing the quash petition.

A letter from the Editor

Dear reader,

We have been keeping you up-to-date with information on the developments in India and the world that have a bearing on our health and wellbeing, our lives and livelihoods, during these difficult times. To enable wide dissemination of news that is in public interest, we have increased the number of articles that can be read free, and extended free trial periods. However, we have a request for those who can afford to subscribe: please do. As we fight disinformation and misinformation, and keep apace with the happenings, we need to commit greater resources to news gathering operations. We promise to deliver quality journalism that stays away from vested interest and political propaganda.

Support Quality Journalism
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | May 28, 2020 8:47:56 PM |

Next Story