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Rajasthan: Distressed gynaecologist who was charged with murder after patient’s death commits suicide, hospitals go on strike

"PPH is a known dangerous complication of childbirth and the SC has directed that no FIR can be filed on a doctor without negligence being certified", the statement by IMA read. "This kind of unwarranted harassment of doctors following complications after medical treatment will make affordable medical care impossible for Indians", it added.

On Tuesday, a female gynaecologist working at a private hospital in Rajasthan’s Dausa district committed suicide as she was stressed over the FIR filed against her under charges of murder based on unproven allegations of medical negligence. The deceased Dr. Archana Sharma was blamed of murder by the family of the patient who died during childbirth.

According to the reports, a 22-year-old pregnant woman was brought to Anand hospital run by Dr. Archana Sharma and her husband. Though she was taken to the labor room, her condition deteriorated and she died due to heavy blood loss. Following this, the relatives of the woman charged Dr. Sharma with medical negligence and created a ruckus at the hospital. They protested against the doctor couple and booked them under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code.

Dr. Archana Sharma, unable to handle the pressure, hanged herself in a hospital room and left a suicide note in which she mentioned that the patient had died due to postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) post-delivery, a known medical complication. “I didn’t commit any mistake. I didn’t kill anyone. Please do not harass my family and my children. The patient died of PPH, a known complication. Don’t harass doctors. Please. My death will perhaps prove my innocence”, the handwritten note read.

Handwritten suicide note by Dr Archana Sharma

The note further added that her doctor husband was also not at fault and that nobody should harass him after her demise. Reports mention that Dr. Sharma had worked as an associate professor and a unit head in Gandhinagar’s government medical college before she joined her husband at Lalsot’s Anand Hospital. According to police, the pregnant woman died at the hospital run by the doctor and her husband after delivering a child and the deceased’s family has been accusing the doctor of medical negligence.

Meanwhile, the Indian Medical Association, Gurgaon condemned the incident and said that the Police under the pressure from relatives and local politicians had booked the doctor under murder charges. “PPH is a known dangerous complication of childbirth and the SC has directed that no FIR can be filed on a doctor without negligence being certified”, the statement by IMA read. “This kind of unwarranted harassment of doctors following complications after medical treatment will make affordable medical care impossible for Indians”, it added.

Dr Amit Thadani, a Mumbai-based doctor has informed OpIndia that a young gynaecologist, a mother of two small kids was harassed as the case filed against her under IPC 302 is unjustified. “Acute postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) is a known complication of childbirth. Uterine atony, or lack of effective uterine contraction, is the most common cause of PPH. It is not something that happens because of medical negligence. But cops were only too eager to harass the doctor”, he said.

He further added that death due to alleged medical negligence is covered under section 304A of IPC and that the doctors are booked only if high order of medical negligence is established. “There is a Supreme Court ruling in this matter. The police cannot just like that book a doctor for medical negligence under IPC 302. We’ve lost a doctor today due to this”, he added reiterating his plea to stop harassing the medical fraternity.

Dr Vijay Kapoor, secretary of Private Hospitals and Nursing Home Society, Jaipur further confirmed that the local police were very serious about registering a case under section 302 of the IPC against the order of the Supreme Court. “It was not murder, the patient died during the normal course of treatment”, he said adding that the doctors across the private hospitals in Jaipur had announced a strike after the case. He said that amid Rajasthan Protest Day on March 30, only the patients already admitted would be treated.

The Rajasthan Medical College Teacher’s Association and Jaipur Association of Resident Doctors have also demanded action against the guilty for the abetment of suicide. They have demanded suspension of guilty officials in the police with immediate effect.

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot says will investigate matter

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot took to Twitter to express sadness over Dr Sharma’s suicide. He condemned intimidation of doctors over death of a patient, which led to filing FIR against Dr Sharma.

“We should all remember how the doctors risked their lives to treat us during COVID pandemic as well as other illnesses,” he said and added that the entire incident will be investigated.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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