Medical professionals urged not to misinterpret

20 May, 2016

The Dr Anamika Ray Memorial Trust has clarified that it has never generalised all the medical professionals while launching its fight against ‘medical terrorism.’ It has requested all medical professionals not to misinterpret and generalise the term and mislead the readers to maintain a better and healthy relationship with their patients.

However, it maintained, “when a medical professional or a service provider indulges in any inhuman behaviour, creating an environment of terror using medical knowledge or licence, then it is not only negligence, it is also medical terrorism.” 

Reacting to the statement of the secretary of the Assam Branch of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), Dr Satyajit Borah (The Assam Tribune, May 17, 2016) on the report of the first advocacy meeting held by the Trust on ‘Medical Terrorism,’ it said that it has initiated the movement ‘Stop Medical Terrorism – A Campaign for Better Health Care Services in India’ aiming at better and transparent health care service in the country. 

The trust has condemned all kinds of violence against any health care provider, including even the paramedical staff and the people in the management of hospitals, besides doctors. The basic mission of this movement is to have a separate law in the country to prevent medical malpractice and negligence. The trust also wishes to create a healthy and safe relationship between patients and health service providers and also to create awareness on patients’ rights. 

Regarding the statistics mentioned in its first advocacy meeting by its managing trustee Dr Ankuran Dutta, the trust clarified that the statistics of 98,000 people who die due to medical error has been borrowed from the television programme, ‘We the People’ of the NDTV, where Padma Shri awardee Dr Krishan Kumar Aggarwal of the IMA was also a panellist. 

Another piece of data that 5.2 million medical injuries are recorded in India has been taken from the research paper titled ‘A Study of Medical Negligence Cases decided by the District Consumer Courts of Delhi’ by Mukesh Yadav and Pooja Rastogi, which was published in the Journal of the Indian Academy of Forensic Medicine in the January-March 2015 issue, Vol. 37, No. 1 with ISSN 0971-0973 (available online). 

The assertion of the trust – “10 people fall victims to medical negligence every minute and more than 11 people die every hour in the country due to medical error”– is only a quantitative analysis drawn from the references mentioned above, stated the trust. 

On the demand for the disclosure of the details of two isolated case reports that finds mention in Dr Dutta’s article, the trust said it believes that the same should not be disclosed to maintain the ethical standards. As doctors cannot disclose any information of any patient under Section 2.2 of the Code of Ethics Regulation 2002 of the Medical Council of India, the trust does not disclose the names of the doctors and associated hospitals. The trust believes in an open discussion for improvement of the patient-doctor relationship, it said.