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He Lost His Nephew As Doctor Refused To Treat: Such Doctors Should Be Punished

An 11-year-old boy from UP who was refused to be treated by doctor on being failed to pay INR 5000 as bribe to the doctor, died while his uncle was carrying him on his lap running from one hospital to another. This unfortunate death of the child shows the condition of the medical facility in our country. This can not be let go easily, as it is a clear matter of medical negligence, and Indian laws do not refuse to punish the doctors who refuse patients to treat. Let us check how.

A government hospital in UP denied to treat a 11-year-old boy suffering from fever, because his family failed to bribe the doctor with INR 5000, which resulted into his death. Pushpraj Singh Yadav, Uncle of the unfortunate kid, Vinod claimed that the doctor-in-charge of OPD demanded bribe of INR 5000. When he failed to pay this amount, he was told to shift his nephew to some other hospital. He carried his nephew on his lap to the district hospital where he dies while he was waiting for a slip to be made. He carried Vinod’s dead body to District Magistrate Divya Prakash Giri and lodged a complaint against the doctors.

City Magistrate Ramesh Tiwari and Deputy CMO MP Pal, are been asked to look into the matter and submit the report for the purpose of further action to be taken. Dr. Bijendra Nath, the principal of the medical college defended the accusation claiming that since the condition of the boy was really bad, so the doctors asked to take the patient to other hospital for treatment, and refused that there has been any incident of asking bribe.

We often see that patients are being refused to get treated, or dying while waiting for the cue for the treatment. The doctors try to defend saying that they have the right to refuse treating a patient, let us check what is the legal scenario regarding such situation:

  • The doctors can refuse treatment of a patient, but those are subject to certain limitations - there must be enough reason to do so, and the situation does not seek an emergency treatment.
  • Even if the situation is emergency  still the doctor refused to treat, and for that the patient loses his/her life, then a FIR can be lodged to the nearest police station or complain to the district magistrate against the refusing doctor.
  • The matter shall be taken to the court and the doctor on proving his fault that he has refused to treat the patient though it was an emergency situation, he shall be convicted for death by negligence.
  • The doctor shall be imprisoned for two years and shall be liable to pay fine under Sec. 304A of Indian Penal Code which says, whoever causes death of a person by a negligent or rash action not amounting to culpable homicide shall be punishable.
  • The matter can also be dealt by the consumer forum, as it is a matter of service from the doctor, in case of any grievous harm caused to the patient due to such refusal or negligence.
  • In case of Medical negligence, these provisions come into action - Sec. 52(good faith), Sec. 80(accident in doing a lawful act), Sec. 81(action to cause harm to prevent from other harm, done without criminal intention), Sec. 83(child of 7-12 years are not criminalized for any act), Sec. 88(acted in good faith, not intending the death of patient), Sec. 90(consent without free will), Sec. 92(actions other that action of causing harm), Sec. 304A(medical negligence), Sec. 337(causing hurt, endanger life and safety of others), and Sec. 338(causing grievous hurt)

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Reviewed by:
Rashmita Das
Published on 21-Apr-18