Are Doctors Always Responsible for Patient’s death?

Port Blair, July 12: A teenage girl is brought to the Primary Health Centre in the evening hours with complaints of lose motion and vomiting. She is administered medications for the symptoms and in few hours, the condition of the patient improves. Having felt better after medication, the patient and relatives want to go home.

The next day the same patient is rushed to the hospital with complaints of breathlessness, gastritis, fever, lose motion and vomiting. The Doctor tries to get the proper history of the patient from the relatives, as much as possible. Having concluded upon the cause of the illness with continuous consultation from the seniors at GB Pant Hospital, the Doctor administers medication. Within hours, the patient starts responding well. But by evening, she shows symptoms of restlessness.

The history of the patient reveal ‘depression’ as one major cause. Later the medical report of samples confirms renal failure. The patient becomes breathless and hypertensive. With no ventilator and other necessary equipment in the hospital, the doctor tries out an hour of chest compression physically, till late in the night but the patient does not respond and is declared dead.    

It’s a major loss for the parents of a teenage girl, who couldn’t survive. This follows protest against the doctor. A magisterial enquiry is ordered as to check the flaws in administering treatment and medications.

A doctor posted in the PHC for the past two years as a lone physician, with a good rapport among the general public for her treatment is now taken for a task. The number of deaths that occurred in the hospital during the past two years is counted.

While the official enquiry is on, is it not time for the general public to re-think on the stand of doctors? Are the doctors always wrong on their part? The history of medical officers posted in various PHCs and CHCs in the islands have indicated that whenever there are such protests, especially after loss of valuable lives, the Doctor is victimized and transferred as a disciplinary measure. Will such measures against Doctors not degrade their performance?

Note: The report is based on Andaman Chronicle’s enquiry in a recent case that took place. This is no attempt to impress upon the ongoing enquiry process. All that Chronicle expects is to re-think on the stand of the doctors who have been serving tirelessly in remote areas, away from their families with minimum available facilities to save the lives of patients.