New Delhi: In an increasing trend of assault and violence against doctors, the Supreme Court on Friday sought responses from the Centre and others, including the Medical Council of India (NMC), to petitions alleging rising assault on doctors and seeking framing of guidelines for their protection across the country.
A bench of Chief Justice Uday Umesh Lalit and Justice Bela M Trivedi also issued notice to the Rajasthan government as the petitions filed by the Delhi Doctors Forum, Indian Medical Association (Dwarka), and Suneet Kumar Upadhyay sought a CBI probe into the alleged suicide of a gynaecologist in Dausa in the state.
Medical Dialogues team was the first to report about Archana Sharma’s case, a gynaecologist, who had ended her life by suicide in Rajasthan after being harassed by a mob following the death of a woman patient during the delivery on account of excessive bleeding.
“Issue notice on the petitions returnable on November 23. Dasti in addition,” the bench said. In legal parlance, ‘Dasti’ means delivery of a notice by hand.
Lawyer Shashank Deo Sudhi, appearing for Medical Association (Dwarka), said doctors are being attacked across the country even if a patient dies on account of health reasons which are beyond the control of medical professionals.
“There are no medical cells in police stations either. The police officers do not understand medical terminology,” he said, adding there was a need for framing comprehensive guidelines to protect doctors.
Senior advocate Gopal Sankaranaraynan, appearing for the husband of the deceased doctor, said the child was delivered healthy and the mother had pre-conditions which led to the death. Still, the gynaecologist was hounded.
The petitioners pleaded for the Centre and other stakeholders to take remedial steps.
“Issue a direction in nature of mandamus or any other appropriate writ, order/direction or directions for constituting a CBI enquiry into the circumstances which led to unfortunate death of young gynecologist doctor by committing suicide under the mysterious conditions in order to find out the actual perpetrators of the entire incident and bring them to justice to deter other such potential wrong doer,” one of the pleas said.
It also sought a direction to stakeholders for evolving a mechanism to compensate the family and dependents of doctors who lost their lives to the cause of public service.
A pregnant woman, Asha Bhairwa, aged about 22 years, had died at Anand Hospital at Lalsot in Dausa, Rajasthan during delivery due to post-delivery haemorrhage on March 28.
Protests were held outside the hospital against the treating doctors who were also threatened with the registration of a murder FIR, the plea said, adding the gynaecologist died a day later allegedly by suicide.