EX-CJI JS VERMAS DEATH RAISES QUESTIONS OF NEGLIGENCE Family to PM: We want regulator for doctors

06 October, 2014

New Delhi, October 6, Aditi Tandon, Tribune News Service:


Family of former Chief Justice of India JS Verma has written to PM Narendra Modi seeking an independent regulator for medical practitioners after the Delhi Medical Council (DMC) gave a clean chit to four top city doctors, who were accused of medical negligence in the death of Verma.

Rejecting DMC’s orders as “predetermined”, Justice Verma’s family has urged the PM to establish a new national regulator for health management. It has in a separate letter to Health Minister Harsh Vardhan levelled serious allegations against the DMC’s ethics committee that heard the case saying that “it even allowed fresh evidence from negligent doctors”.

“My husband’s death was a case of a series of medical mismanagements by doctors who had known him for years and in whom he had complete faith. After we complained to the MCI we realised there is absolutely no accountability for medical practitioners. It has been over a year and we are still awaiting justice. We request you for a national regulatory body for health management and medical practitioners. I am alarmed to think that if my husband, a well-known person, could lose his life to medical negligence what must be the fate of a common man,” Justice Verma’s wife Pushpa Verma has written to the PM who is yet to acknowledge her letter (a copy is with The Tribune). In a separate letter to Vardhan, Justice Verma’s daughter Shubhra Verma has accused the DMC of passing a predetermined order which created suspicion of a pact between vested interests with loyalties to each other.

“The doctors concerned had filed replies to our complaint, but we never got these copies. Even later, we didn’t get the complete set. I had to file an RTI to get the papers from the DMC….Negligent doctors were given a patient hearing even when producing fresh evidence and crisp new nursing and treatment notes that were neither filed nor given to us on asking! The whole proceeding was so blatantly fixed that the ethics committee didn’t even object when doctors from various hospitals argued in each other’s favour,” Shubhra has alleged in the letter.

Shubhra today told The Tribune that the family had sought time from the MCI in the appeal it has filed against the DMC’s orders. “The MCI has fixed October 9 as the first date for hearing, but we need time as appellants — my sister Rashmi and her husband Dalip Mathur — are both consultants in the UK’s NHS and need time before they can arrive and argue the appeal. The MCI hasn’t responded to our request,” she said.

Justice Verma died of multiple organ failure on April 22, 2013, following his admission to Fortis Escorts Heart Institute and Medanta Medicity in Gurgaon. The DMC recently gave a clean chit to four doctors associated with these hospitals ruling out negligence. Justice Verma’s family says it hasn’t yet received acknowledgments for the letters written to PM and Vardhan.

 

JS Verma
EX-CJI JS VERMA
The case
 Former Chief Justice of India JS Verma died of multiple organ failure on April 22, 2013, following his admission to Fortis Escorts Heart Institute and Medanta Medicity in Gurgaon
 The DMC recently gave a clean chit to four doctors associated with these hospitals ruling out negligence
 Justice Verma’s family says it has written letters to the PM and the Health Minister and was awaiting acknowledgment