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World Medical Association Urges PM Modi to Stop Attacks on Indian Doctors After Rajasthan Physician’s Suicide

In her letter to the PM, the WMA President expressed shock over the action of the law enforcement agencies against the physician after the death of a patient.
World Medical Association

Image Courtesy: Wikipedia

The World Medical Association (WMA) has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take steps to curb frequent attacks on physicians and other healthcare personnel in the country.

The WMA made the request to the PM in the aftermath of the recent suicide of Dr Archana Sharma in Rajasthan. The doctor died by suicide after the police had filed a murder case against her following the death of woman in her hospital. She owned the hospital along with her husband, The Week reported. 

The patient had died during childbirth due to post-partum haemorrhage, the report said. However, relatives of the deceased patient filed a police complaint against Sharma. Further, protests were  held outside the hospital in Dausa district of Rajasthan. Distraught by the protests and the police action, Sharma ended her life, according to The Week’s report. 

In her letter to the PM, WMA President Dr Heidi Stensmyren expressed shock over the involvement of the law enforcement agencies in the matter.

"It must be clear that any treatment outcome that is detrimental or fatal must first be properly and professionally examined before conclusions about civil and criminal liability can be made. Utmost attention must be given to an unbiased, scientific correct process in dealing with unwanted treatment outcomes," Stensmyren was quoted as saying in the letter as per a press release by the WMA.

She further said the WMA supported the Indian Medical Association (IMA) in their request to the Narendra Modi-led Indian government to take clear and effective steps to prevent attacks on physicians and other healthcare personnel.

"Countering non-negligent treatment errors with prosecution in the first place is not only unjust but will also have grave consequences for the treatment of the population as it will lead to risk-avoiding, defensive medicine and as such to reduced treatment options for seriously ill or endangered patients,” Stensmyren said in an apparent reference to Dr Sharma’s case.

Sharma had claimed innocence in her suicide note, writing "Don't harass innocent doctors," The Week’s report said. 

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