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West Bengal: Doctors demand legal safeguards while examining female patients

West Bengal: Doctors demand legal safeguards while examining female patients

Kolkata: Aggrieved by alleged charges of physical assault against a Senior Pulmonologist in the city, the medical fraternity in the city has decided to stress on certain measures while examining female patients. The doctors during a meeting held between the Association of Chest Physicians, West Bengal and Association of Physicians of India  have demanded legal safeguards  for medical practitioners while also asking for proper probe into the case of Dr Ganguli.

When asked on the issue of assault charges levelled against the doctors and safeguards that they take for themselves, Dr Anupam Patra, assistant professor in the chest department at NRS Medical College and Hospital, told TOI, “Despite the huge rush of patients at a government hospital, I make it a point to counsel a woman patient before clinically examining her. As explaining takes time, it delays the appointment of other patients waiting in the queue. But then what if a woman patient accuses me of molesting her?”

He added that many other doctors are also following such counselling measures before taking on to the examination of female patients.

Since the case, there has been an inherent fear in the mind of male practitioners for examination of the female patient. Dr Sumitra Basu Thakur, head of chest department at Calcutta Medical College, stated that “Dr Dhiman Ganguly’s case is sub judice and it will be inappropriate to comment. All I can say is that he is a highly respected physician. Most doctors in my department are men and after the incident, they are apprehensive about examining female patients.”

Regarding the matter the Association of Physicians of India (API) had also condemned the media trial of pulmonologist on mere allegations of sexual assault.


2 comment(s) on West Bengal: Doctors demand legal safeguards while examining female patients

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  1. user
    Dr Tapas Banerjee October 8, 2016, 11:49 pm

    The day I heard about incidence it not only scared me but also the incidence was shocking .proper examination after careful history taking guides a medical practitioner in investing the case in right direction . Investigating without proper physical examination is not only ridiculous but also sometimes impossible . Therefore the fear that has gripped the entire medical fraternity should be nipped in the bud to allow smooth treatment of a country like us with a population of more than 1.2 billion.
    Dr Tapas Banerjee

  2. user
    Parthasarathi Bhattacharyya October 8, 2016, 11:02 am

    The very section of IPC 354 needs to be amended for a Physician\’s consultation and examination of a patient. Clinical examination is an important pillar in the process of making a diagnosis and if doctors start avoiding the examination for the fear of being harassed and kept behind the bars (non bailable offence as per the section mentioned) just on the basis of a compliant, it will mean a huge damage to the interest of the patients at large. Lack of trust, over investigations, delay in diagnosis and treatment may impose detrimental consequences.
    The doctor community needs to respond. I have posted a petition at the to the Hon\’ble President of India to intervene. Please register yourself at the site and support.

Source: With inputs

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