Doc’s negligence kills son, father fights for justice
A doctor in Delhi was asked to stay away from work for a week as punishment for negligence that cost a father his only son. Rakesh Sharma has been fighting for justice since his son died because of delayed treatment in 2005.
Sixteen-year-old Anirudh was diagnosed with meningitis when he was actually suffering from brain haemorrhage, at the Ganesh Diagnostic and Imaging Centre and the treating doctor at Saroj Hospital and Heart Institute in Rohini –– where he was admitted on on August 25, 2005 –– failed to correct the mistake even though they treated him for five days.
When Anirudh’s condition deteriorated, they asked the family to move him to another hospital. “We took him to Gangaram Hospital where doctors at once said had haemorrhage and changed his treatment. But by then Anirudh was so critical that he could not survive,” says Sharma. Sharma, who is disabled and walks with a limp, wants the erring doctors behind bars.
The Medical Council of India (MCI) submitted its report on May 16 this year and stated, “The ethics committee decided unanimously to recommend that Dr Jaideep Bansal was found to have committed an act of professional misconduct amounting to negligence in the treatment of the patient be removed from the IMR for a period of one week.”
“What is one week? It’s good news for the doctor — he could stay home, relax and sleep. It is hardly an appropriate punishment,” says Sharma, who has now filed a criminal complaint in the Rohini court as well as the consumer court. “It’s now more than a personal battle for me. I want to send a message to all those people who have suffered in the hands of negligent doctors,” the angry father adds.
Sharma is upset with the way the Delhi Medical Council and the Medical Council of India have handled the case. “While the DMC took more than one year to respond to my complaint and gave the doctor and the imaging centre a clean chit, the decision of the MCI shows it is also trying to protect the doctors and radiologists,” he alleges.
Despite several calls, MCI secretary general ARN Setalvad refused to explain how the weeklong suspension would be implemented. Doctors and the administration at Saroj Hospital refused to comment.