Several city doctors spoke out in support of Dr Prafulla Desai, who was on Friday directed by the Bombay high court to pay Rs 15 lakh compensation in a medical negligence case.
"Dr Desai is the father of cancer surgery. He is not expected to shirk his duties or take anything lightly. But sometimes patients have very high expectations. Doctors should explain as much as the patient can understand without
oversimplifying," said Dr Keki Turel, a senior neurosurgeon at Bombay Hospital.
However, Turel pointed out that there is a need for better communication between doctors and their patients.
"I feel that if a doctor is too busy to address the patient's doubts, he rather not operate on the patient at all," said Dr Turel.
"Dr Desai was one of the busiest surgeons of his time and it is not necessary that each and every patient was operated by him," said Dr Suresh Joshi, a senior cardio-thoracic and vascular surgeon at Holy Family and Fortis Hospitals.
He added, "What Dr Desai was providing as expertise and his contribution to the field is far more important than his failures."
Another oncologist suggested that in sensitive cases when the patient is frustrated, even a "strategic apology" helps tide the situation.