Familys 19 year fight for justice leads to conviction of doctor

27 December, 2016

In the last 19 years, not a single day has passed when Murari Lal Goel did not remember his eldest son. Dr Subash Goel lost his life to medical negligence in 1997. During this long fight for justice, Goel, now 82, even lost his wife. But he never gave up.

December 1 brought in a ray of hope when a district court in Rohini held one of the four accused and the hospital guilty of medical negligence. Dr Vivek Baniyal, Dr VK Bindal, Dr YP Munjal, and Dr Rakesh Gupta of the Sunder Lal Jain Hospital had been accused of the negligence that led to Subash’s death. But the district court convicted only Dr Rakesh Gupta and the hospital.

Not satisfied with the judgment, Goel and his two other sons are now planning to move the Delhi High Court. In 1997, Subash developed chest pain and was taken to the Sunder Lal Jain Hospital for treatment. According to Goel’s complaint,facilities for many vital tests were not available at the hospital. It further contended that due to improper diagnosis, wrong medicine was administered to the patient, resulting in his death.

“This is how our country’s legal system works. We had filed the case in 1999 and the trial began in 2013. With the death of my son, we all lost a part of our lives. The last 19 years have been extremely difficult for all of us. My wife, who was my strength, left me in 2009. But I did not lose my will,” said Goel, sitting at his Model Town home, where he now lives with his two other sons.

Even after the trial started, the wait for justice did not end. The judges in the district court kept on changing, further delaying the process. “Every year, we thought that this will end now, but nothing changed. I was so attached to him (Subash). We used to sit and talk for hours. He was the most educated in our family. It is so sad that he died due to medical negligence despite being a doctor himself,” Goel said.

“We are not happy with the court decision and will be moving the High Court,” Goel’s youngest son Ashwani said.