Doctors of the state-run Sir JJ Hospital in Byculla, who recently prepared a report on actor Sanjay Dutt's wife Manyata's medical condition, said they rarely receive requests from the police to scrutinise medical reports of convict's relatives.
In such cases, a report submitted by the committee to the appropriate authority (the police or courts) mentions if the patient needs the supervision of the closest relative, depending on the ailment, doctors said.
Senior doctors said that while medico-legal cases – where doctors are expected to give their opinion on the diagnosis, treatment and unexpected death of patients during or after medical treatment or surgery — are not unusual, with the hospital receiving three to four of them a month, cases involving convicts are rare. What's more common is examination of patients referred from various jails seeking medical treatment.
State-run hospitals are recognised by the police machinery for seeking opinions in medico-legal cases. The Sir JJ group of Hospitals, which comprises St George Hospital, GT Hospital and Cama and Albless Hospital, is the only facility in the city to institute an inquiry committee for such purposes.
"The hospital institutes an inquiry, for which specialist doctors along with a forensic doctor scrutinise a patient's medical records. Usually, doctors see test results of patients, including MRI and CT scans; X ray and blood reports, to confirm the diagnosis. If needed, tests can be re-ordered if there is any suspicion," said a senior doctor from the hospital, who has been part of several such inquiries into medico-legal cases.
Usually, the JJ Hospital receives 80 to 100 patients a month that are referred from various jails. "Doctors decide if the patient requires admission or if he/she can be treated on an out-patient basis," said another doctor familiar with the process.