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Maharashtra: High Court seeks guidelines for autopsies on Female Corpses

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Just as how as per the CrPC, a female police officer must remain present if a woman is being taken into custody, or questioned. Similarly, do any such rules exist for conducting autopsies?” the bench asked.

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court Wednesday asked the Maharashtra government to inform it about the existing guidelines on conducting autopsies in private as well as state and civic hospitals.

A bench of Chief Justice Naresh Patil and Justice N M Jamdar also asked the state if it had issued any government resolutions (GRs) to set down such guidelines, particularly for autopsies conducted on female corpses.

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The bench was hearing a PIL, which alleged that autopsies in several civic hospitals were being conducted by morgue attendants and sweepers instead of doctors.

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Read Also: All Autopsies have to be Videographed: Court Orders All Government Hospitals

The plea, filed by activist Adil Khatri, claimed that during a visit to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)-run Sion Hospital in September last year, he found a sweeper and a male morgue attendant conducting a post-mortem examination.

Khatri claimed that replies to his queries under the Right to Information (RTI) Act revealed that owing to shortage of trained staff, doctors at civic hospitals were often assisted by “morgue attendants, sweepers and assistant doctors” for conducting the post-mortem.

He told the court that male morgue attendants and sweepers also conducted the post-mortem on women.

At this, the bench asked the state if a standard procedure was followed for conducting autopsies in all hospitals across the state.

“Has the government issued any GRs for autopsies on female corpses? Just as how as per the CrPC, a female police officer must remain present if a woman is being taken into custody, or questioned. Similarly, do any such rules exist for conducting autopsies?” the bench asked.

The state’s lawyer, Poornima Kantharia, told the bench that while she will find out about the GRs, it was possible that often, due to the shortage of doctors, or “the reluctance of female doctors to go into morgues”, male doctors and assistant medical staff conduct autopsies on female corpses.

The plea had sought that the court directs the BMC to ensure that a standard procedure was followed by all civic hospitals in the city while conducting autopsies.

It has also urged that it be made mandatory to ensure that women doctors or attendants were present during the post-mortem of women.

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Source: PTI

4 comment(s) on Maharashtra: High Court seeks guidelines for autopsies on Female Corpses

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  1. user
    Dr Geraldine Sanjay March 18, 2019, 12:10 pm

    Very good suggestion

  2. Each n Every Autopsy should be completely recorded with date n time with audio on Expenses to be born by state govt, is the only permanent solution. It also safeguard every good doctor/ forensic expert against allegations and ultimately state govt. will provide all necessary facilities at all mortuary.

  3. user
    Dr Ramesh vardhan March 17, 2019, 12:20 pm

    NOBLE WO/ MEN SHOULD INVOLVE IN NOBLE PROFESSION LIKE MEDICINE . SYMPATHY EMPATHY , MORALS, VALUES AND ETHICS SHOULD GIVEN AT MOST IMPORTANCE / SIGNIFICANCE , INSTEAD OF MARKS, MONEY , MEANMINDED CASTE , COMMUNITY , RELIGION & CULTURE. I AM YET SEE ANY RANK HOLDER , RICH MAN , POLITICAN / BABUS THE BUEROCRATES , SPIRITUAL LEADERS, HIGHCASTE DOCTORS SON / DAUGHTER OPTING / PREFER TO TAKE UP FORENSIC MEDICINE AS SUBJECT OF CHOICE / PREFERENCE. WITH KIND OF MINDSET WHAT CAN WE EXPECT. EVEN IN MEDICAL COLLEGES THE DAY STUDENTS CLEAR THEIR FORENSIC MEDICINE EXAMS , MOST OF STUDENTS STOP EVEN LOOKING AT THE FORENSIC MEDICINE STAFF MEMBERS. EVEN THE OTHER FACULTY MEMBERS TRY TO AVOID VISITING THEIR FAMILY . THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO SHOW SOME KIND OF RESPECT IS THE LOCAL POLICE. COMING TO THE PLACE WHERE THEY CONDUCT P M / AUTOPSY , IS INVARIABLY MOST DISGUSTING PLACE OF THE HOSPITAL PREMISES , LOOKS WORSE THAN PLACE WHERE DESITIUTES , VEGABONDS LIVE. FOR THE FIRST TIME IN LIFE I COME ACROSS , UNBELIEVABLELY BEST OF THE FORENSIC POSTMORTEM AREANA / THEATRE / CENTRE AND ONE CAN USE OTHER BETTER WORD . IT WAS IN A SURPRISINGLY UNHEARD PLACE ON THE PLANET EARTH CALLED BANDA , THE BHUDELKHAND REGION OF UTTER PRADESH . WHICH COULD PUT THE OPERATION THEATRES OF MY OWN MEDICAL COLLEGE TEACHING HOSPITAL INTO SHAME . THAT TOO IN A NEWLY CONSTRUCTED 120 CRORE HOSPITAL , ONE CAN IMAGINE WHAT COULD BE STATUS OF OLD O T s OF A DUNGEON LIKE DISTRICT HOSPITAL . WITH THE SEAPEAGE TOILET WATERS IN THE SO CALLED MINOR O T . MOST DISGUSTING & HIGHLY DAMAGING , WHICH NEEDED IMMEDIATE DEMOLITION . THE REAL SURGICAL STRIKE WITH PIN POINT PRECISION . I ,AT TIMES EVEN SPOKE TO A FIGHTER JET PILOT AND THEIR MEN UNIFORM EXCICUTE WITH PRECISION , JOKINGLY . I HAVE FEELING THAT OUR HEALTH CARE SYSTEM AND MEDICAL EDUCATION IS GOING SUFFER AS LONG AS IT IS GOVERNED BY THE BABUS THE BUEROCRATES .( I THINK IT IS AS BAD AS KASHMIR PROBLEM). THE DAY THE BUEROCRATES ARE KEPT AWAY FROM THE HEALTH CARE & MEDICAL EDUCATION ,WE CAN SEE MUCH MORE BETTER RESULTS . ( UNFORTUNATELY NO BODY OR VERY FEW THINKS, THE WAY I HAVE FEELING ). I REQUEST THE MEDICAL DIALOGUE TEAM MAKE A VEDIO PRESENTATION OF BANDA GOVERNMENT MEDICAL COLLEGE CAMPUS , FOCUSING BIT MORE ON THE FORENSIC POSTMORTEM AREANA /THEATRE. THE DAY ALL OVER THE COUNTRY WE HAVE THIS TYPE P M / AUTOPSY THEATRES , WE CAN BE HAPPY , WITH BETTER WORK ONE CAN FELL PROUD.

  4. user
    Dr anju khurana March 17, 2019, 9:27 am

    It\’s a common knowledge that autopsies are conducted by sweepers. Doctor just give a glance and maybe even does not. Murder victims get indeterminate findings on autopsies,so many times murderer may be set free. Corruption is prevalent to give doctored autopsy reports.