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WB: API condemns media trial of pulmonologist on allegations of sexual misconduct

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WB: API condemns media trial of pulmonologist on allegations of sexual misconduct

Kolkata: Taking a strong view of the public humiliation faced by doctors in case of untoward instances, The Association of Physicians of India, West Bengal Branch has strongly condemned the names of doctors being revealed in the media in such circumstances.

This comes after, a complaint was filed against a Senior pulmonologist in Kolkata on allegations of ” sexual indecency” by a female patient. Following the complaint of the patient, that she was allegedly molested by the doctor, the police arrested the doctor. The news was then revealed in the media.

The  Association of Physicians of India has now condemned on very strong terms, the release of his name by the media and identity even before the alleged misconduct has been proven. A press release taken out by the organisation to this effect clearly stated

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“As much as it is important to conceal the identity of the ‘alleged victim’ in cases of alleged ‘sexual misconduct’. It is also very crucial to conceal the identity of the ‘alleged tormenter’. Because, investigations may prove that the ‘alleged tormenter’ was actually the ‘real victim’. If such is the case will those responsible for tarnishing his reputation spend all their time and money to bring his reputation back?”

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Pointing out that revelations of names in such cases only add to tarnishing the reputation of professionals, the association stated, “It requires immense sacrifice of the comforts of youth and family; decades of perseverance and dedication; a life filled with enormous empathy for patients and mentoring of juniors for a doctor to build his experience and reputation. How can reputation built with such enormous effort and care be tarnished in the blink of an eye by allegations that are neither authenticated nor proved? If clinical examination of one patient results into such a disastrous fate for a doctor, then it becomes a serious professional hazard for all the doctors, which may severely affect the whole population and the society at large.”

“At this moment we are not sure about the mental state of the patient in question; neither do we know about her awareness of medical services. All this has to be taken into account before blaming and charging one of our senior member and colleague who happens to be a ‘father-figure’ for many of us”,the association added in defence of the doctor.

Source: self
7 comment(s) on WB: API condemns media trial of pulmonologist on allegations of sexual misconduct

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  1. Similar thing happened to a very senior retired medicine professor. During a child abuse prevention class , it was taught that no body should touch a girl\’s body without her permission. Following this class a child told that a doctor had recently touched her abdomen. Immediately the school authority complained to child abuse prevention cell and Doctor was arrested without any enquiry. Actually what the child meant was the clinical examination done by the doctor in front of her mother. The child\’s parents had no complaints . Still he was arrested and badly defamed by the media. Soon the truth was out but no media made any corrective comments.
    Now what about all those stress that poor doctor and family suffered . What about the reputation he has built all these years

  2. first of all, the National IMA should make it a practice to immediately sue any News channel/newspaper which carries a news item with the Tagline\”Doctor ki laparwahi ke kaaran\”. The premise is, how can they issue such a damning statement without incontrovertible evidence to support it.
    Next, the IMA should press for a provision in the consumer protection act that allows for an automatic counter prosecution of the original appellant in case the plea is dismissed as fraudulent/frivolous, and awards exemplary damages to the Doctor(s) originally accused and tried for negligence. The doctor(s) counsel should appeal for such counter prosecution and damages for defamation as soon as the verdict comes from the concerned consumer forum.
    All practitioners should immediately contact their local IMA office bearers as soon as any such complaint is filed against any member, and ensure that such media trial doesn\’t happen.

  3. I fully endorse Dr Goel. All India Professional Associations like the IMA and many others should be pro- active and stand up in all the media, to fight for their members.
    Clinical Medicine has already disappeared to a large extent and media trial of such unproven allegations will drive it completely out.

  4. I welcome the stand taken by API I also feel the suggestion of Dr Mohan of filing a defamation suite by API as a good option

  5. Yes, Dr A S Ram, however, if the newspaper is sued, it should be at an organisational level and not in an individual capacity. This is for few reasons, an individual can be subjected to external pressures to which he /she could succumb, an organisational backup could set a new precedent, that targeting a doctor means confronting an organisation.
    Actually we as Doctors are powerful individuals and if we could shed off atleast some \’nobility\’, we could gain back the awe and respect of the public

  6. This is politics in India and media uses them as their money tools. Doctors leads a good life and that is often a offense to general people and this view has been made by politicians and media.

  7. user
    Dr Mohan Ranawade September 20, 2016, 9:14 am

    We, as doctors stand at a crossroad, where our self-professed nobility and public perception contradict each other.
    The general public view all doctors as greedy businessmen earning money from others plight.
    The media, does what it does best, gives \’breaking news\’ without any consideration to its consequences.
    I think the API, should as an organisation instantly file a defamation case against the newspaper, and follow it up at an organisational level.
    This could set a precedent against such brash, commercial journalism aka prestitution.

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