On Tuesday, a petition was filed in the Supreme Court seeking comprehensive guidelines for the protection of doctors who are regularly assaulted in the course of treating patients.
The Indian Medical Association (Dwarka) has also filed public interest litigation (PIL) to direct the Centre and others to develop a mechanism to compensate the families and dependents of doctors who died in the line of duty.
In a recent case involving the death of a doctor in Rajasthan, the plea claimed that the doctor had “fallen victim” to harassment allegedly perpetrated by patients’ relatives.
“The instant public interest litigation under section 32 of the Constitution of India is necessitated on account of ongoing assaults on treating doctors across the country under the guise of medical negligence,” the plea, written by advocate Shashank Deo Sudhi, stated.
According to the report, the incident in Rajasthan has sparked widespread protests across the country, with many doctors fearing for their lives and requesting government protection so that they are not harassed or tortured after treating patients.
On March 29, the doctor in Rajasthan was “forced to commit suicide,” according to the report. According to the petition, the petitioner association has been requesting the concerned authorities’ protection of treating doctors on a regular basis.
“It is further submitted that the doctors served as corona warriors during the spread of deadly COVID-19 across the country, and their humanitarian services have been acknowledged and recognised by all sections of society around the world,” it said.
The petitioner association claimed that they were forced to approach the Supreme Court due to the state police of Rajasthan’s failure to apply common sense when an FIR was filed against the doctor under section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code.
The petition requested that a CBI investigation be launched into the circumstances surrounding the tragic death of a young doctor who committed suicide under mysterious circumstances, in order to identify the true perpetrators of the crime.
“There is an urgent need to lay down comprehensive guidelines for the immediate protection of treating doctors in a situation where there is an allegation of medical negligence against a doctor and the treating doctor is constantly being exposed to threats from patients’ attendants as well as the local police,” the report stated.
The petition also asks for comprehensive guidelines for the creation of digitally equipped medico-legal cells in all police stations across the country to handle medical negligence cases.