Rights panel help sought for fair probe

25 December, 2016

KOCHI: K A Abootty, father of Shamna Tasnim, a second-year MBBS student of Ernakulam Government Medical College, who died due to alleged medical negligence, submitted a memorandum to the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) requesting that the State Police Chief and Director of Medical Education(DME) be directed to conduct a free and fair investigation into the medico’s death.

The memorandum alleged that the authorities at the Ernakulam Medical College and Rajagiri Hospital had shown disrespect to Shamna’s body by admitting her to the ICU and ‘treating’ her even after the death was clinically confirmed. “If a person dies before reaching hospital, he is declared brought dead. It has been  confirmed that Shamna had breathed her last  at the Medical College. Yet, she was admitted to the ICU and kept there for two hours. Rajagiri Hospital was paid `8,986 for ‘treating the dead body’. This is a criminal conspiracy and disrespect to the dead body,” it stated.

Abooty pointed out that the government had discarded the SHRC’s conclusion that there was “sheer negligence(on the part) of the medical officers”,following the complaint lodged by him earlier. In the wake of the findings of the inquiry conducted by the Joint Director of Medical Education  the government suspended two doctors. But they were reinstated in service even before the department-level probe and the police investigation got over.  

Moreover, the memorandum pointed out that the decision to get the medical negligence angle probed by a five-member Panel headed by Director, Department of Health, was kept on the back burner since the Committee had met only once. It was also claimed there was an effort to sabotage the report prepared by Joint Director of Medical Education, who was a forensic professor by training. 

“It has been found that Dr Jils, one of the two doctors suspended in connection with Shamna’s death, unnecessarily administered  an  injection to Shamna. A petition lodged against him,for allegedly forging his certificates is pending before the High Court,” the memorandum said. Shamna,22, had breathed her last at the  Ernakulam Government Medical College on July 18. She suffered a cardiac arrest after being given an injection.  Since then Abootty has been waging a legal battle against the hospital authorities to secure justice for his  deceased daughter.