On the absence of a doctor’s dilemma in India: Reflections on impatient violence

R Srivatsan

DOI: 10.20529/IJME.2019.066


On June 10, 2019, Mohammed Sayeed, a 75-year-old patient was admitted to the Nil Ratan Sircar Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata, West Bengal (1). He died that night due to a cardiac arrest and this led to a scuffle between the patient’s family and duty doctors. In retaliation, the doctors refused to discharge the body, asserting that since the family claimed it was a suspicious death, a post-mortem was required. A mob arrived, and in the confrontation, a doctor was injured. The medicos struck work. Doctors and medical associations across the country have voiced unanimous support for the doctors, and called for protective legislation against the violence of the public. As a consequence of these nationwide doctors’ protests, the Supreme Court has now proposed a law that protects doctors by severely punishing those who attack them (2). Meanwhile, it does seem as if such attacks are increasing.

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