Chennai: Not following the correct protocol when it came to handling a medico-legal case is going to prove costly to 6 doctors of a medical college hospital in the area, as the health department has now ordered initiation of action against them. The doctors are likely to face serious actions which may include suspension as well as criminal charges, point out the recent media reports.
The Tamil Nadu Health Department has recently written to Medical Education Department, ordering serious action against six attending doctors of Dharmapuri Medical College and Hospital for allegedly failing to mention “rape” or labelling “medico-legal” in a case report of a 17 a year old girl. The health department demanded the initiation of disciplinary proceedings against the medicos for performing negligence in handling such a sensitive case.
The case took place last year on November 5th when the minor girl was allegedly raped by two men at Sittilingi village in Dharmapuri.
On November 6th, she was taken to the Harur government hospital where a doctor on duty confirmed it to b a rape and then the FIR was filed in this regard. On the very same day, she was referred to a children’s home based in Dharmapuri.
On November 7th, she was brought to the Dharmapuri Government Medical College and Hospital with severe complaints of bleeding, giddiness, and vomiting. Three days after her admission, on the 10th November, the minor succumbed to injuries and died in the hospital.
The doctors were accused of not following protocol and handing over the body to the family without autopsy. Social workers stopped the doctors and pointed out they were handing the case sheet without mentioning it to be a rape case.
Missing the information, has now brought on the action against the doctors concerned
A Senior Health Department Official told the TOI, “It is not information that can be missed. She didn’t come from her house but from a children’s home. If they had seen the case history, they would have seen the rape mention and the FIR. Even if they missed it, they should have spoken to the girl or at least seen clinical signs that caused severe pain.”
“There was no mention of rape in her case sheet. The doctors were about to hand over the body to the family even without autopsy. Fortunately, they were stopped by social workers from the home,” a senior health department official added
The doctors on duty in their defense claimed that no one informed them about this being a rape case that the girl was conscious and oriented at the time she was admitted to the hospital. The doctors added that neither her nor the family mentioned anything about her ordeal
A duty doctor told the TOI, “We diagnosed her with vertigo and she was treated with IV fluids and medication in the female ward. When CT scan showed mild swelling of the brain, she was given suitable medications and symptoms improved in the next two days. After obtaining opinion from an ENT surgeon we even planned an MRI scan. By then the patient collapsed. We tried resuscitating her and shifted her to the intensive care unit. But she did not make it.”
“It was after this that we were told about the rape and the incident report filed by the Harur GH,” he said.
The duty doctors approached the doctors’ forums to gain support. “We did our best to save her, but we did not know she was raped. There was no case sheet. Her mother was her attender. Neither the patient nor her parents mentioned rape. We didn’t know about the home or police case too,” the duty doctor further added.
Further investigation in on in the case