It was a hot and clammy morning in S. N. Medical College. Agra. India..Dr Y Agarwal was on his morning round in the Coronary care Unit.He had to prepare all the details before the visit of the Professor.A old patient with CAD,HT,type 2 DM and other complications who had had a cardiac arrest last night and was revived again went pulseless.Fearing the worse Dr Y.promptly started injecting him various IV drugs.Meanwhile a crowd of on lookers collected beside the bedside.No sooner had He started the IV injection the ECG tracing went flat.The patient was dead.A clamour aore from the onlookers”Mar diya mar diya(killed him)” and the started hitting Dr Agarwal.Being small in height he was no match and was roughened up badly.
Can you hit a lawyer in a court or a police man in kotwali.Well you can but it would be dangerous.Here unlike Dr Gupta of Allahabad, Dr Agarwal here was not in solo practice but in a medical college.Soon some residents collected and started pacifying the relative who having beaten up Dr Y.started hitting others also.
Well some of the doctors like some of the lawyers are hotheaded and a scuffle ensued.It was now free for all.I was standing a few metres away and now and started feeling sorry for the relatives as they were thoroughly roughened up ,the accompanying ladies started crying and it was only then that the beating stopped.
Later the patient’s relative had to beg for the body,ask forgiveness from all the doctors as they did not want a post mortem which was being contemplated as they had alleged murder.
The cases of Doctors being beaten is on the rise because most of the doctors are in solo practice and being alone without security are helpless in face of assault,whatever be the reason.
The sudden death while giving IV injection as seen above is one of the reasons why patients relative attack doctors as the relative percieve that the patient was allright and has suddenly died most likely due to a faulty injection which however is not a rarity.
It is important to understand the close relatives in such cases is too much grief striken to create too much trouble.It is the accompanying persons who have no stake in the treatment outcome and have to show their solidarity with the patients relative who get physical .Just like the new convert has to show his allegiance to the cause!
Here it is note worthy to understand the role of doctor in treating a patient. It is diagnostics ,treatment and prognostics.While most doctors are good in former two the last is not given much importance in medical teaching and most doctors either over estimate or underestimate the gravity of the disease according to their own judgement.Some in private practice may even be casual in their approach to prognostication fearing that the patient would run away to another consult , grossly under estimate the gravity of the situation,much to their chagrin if the situation takes a turn for the worse.For example if the doctor gives a prognosis of a less serious situation and the patient dies ,then is it not the mistake of the treating doctor.
There are other factors also.A drunkard patient as Dr gupta was treating in Allahabad would have drunk caregivers and some drunk people are un predictably violent.
Whatever it is Doctors must unite in the face of violence towards doctors and criticising fellow doctors in such situations is uncalled for