City’s renowned physician Dr Jay Deshmukh and his team of doctors who came at the helm of controversy for allegedly declaring an alive man, Head Constable Vinod Dharampal dead, got the shot in the arm after the Indian Medical Association (IMA) stepped in to seek his version and further extended support to him. Meanwhile, Dharampal died on Wednesday a day after he was taken to the hospital again.
Dr Deshmukh’s clarification that no death certificate has been issued lost hold when the question was raised that on which ground the patient was discharged from the hospital, given her condition was so critical. Later he spelled out his clarification to Nagpur Today in which he reiterated that no death certificate was issued and the patient was discharged only after his relatives insisted for that. The discharge card was issued and the written consent of the relatives was also taken before the patient was let out. “We never declared anybody dead nor any of my doctors who are competent enough to make the difference between living and dead,” Dr Jay Deshmukh told Nagpur Today.
He added, “I have been in the practice for the last 30 years and the media has decided to make me guilty. My 30 years of practice was put on stake in just one hour. At least I should have this much of sense to make out whether the person is living or dead.”
Meanwhile, Talking to Nagpur Today, President of Indian Medical Association, Nagpur Chapter Dr Warsha Dawle said that she had personally talked to Dr Jay Deshmukh about the series of events as they occurred and he had said that the patient had been undergoing treatment with him for the last 13 years.
According to Dr Dawle, when he was brought to the hospital, he was in a critical condition. Dr Deshmukh said that he was on the ventilator and gradually he was weaned out of the ventilator. The relatives requested Dr Deshmukh to discharge the patient. The relatives were made aware of his condition and had requested the doctor to discharge him so that they can take him home and take care of him. Dr Warsha said that neither Dr. Jay Deshmukh nor any doctor in Sunflower Hospital had issued a death certificate. In-fact the hospital authorities had given a discharge certificate. The hospital authorities alleged that it was the relatives of the patient who had taken him home after tying his legs and hands etc. The hospital did not provide for the cotton too. It was the relatives who had purchased the cotton that was stuffed into his nose and mouth. Dr Warsha while speaking about the stand of Dr Deshmukh also said that since the brother of the patient is in the police, it was him who had informed Imambada Police Station and had also collected funds for the funeral rites.
After realizing that the patient showed signs of life, they rushed the patient back to the hospital where he died in the evening of January 22, 2014.
Dr Warsha Dawle reiterated that the as President of IMA, we will stand with Dr Jay Deshmukh and support his stand, since the procedure that was followed by him is followed by most doctors across the city.
However some questions that are still nagging in the minds of most people is if what Dr Jay Deshmukh says is to be believed, then after the news leaked out and was reported by most news agencies, why did the doctor not come out and explain his stand? Why did he not initiate any legal action against the relatives of the patient for maligning his reputation?
When Nagpur Today asked Dr Deshmukh about how the question of declaring Vinod dead cropped up when nobody declared him dead, he clarified that the relatives took Vinod to home after discharge and the next day they assumed by themselves that Vinod was dead. “I don’t know from where then the question of doctors declaring him dead came from. Somebody has played the trick against us,” he told.
If the doctors from Sunflower Hospital are to be believed, the patient was in critical condition and had complications from multiple trauma and ailments. The family members of the patient were clearly explained about the entire situation and then the patients was allowed to be taken home to be observed at home (as is often done at many hospitals) so that he lives for the duration his body allows and passes away peacefully at his own home in the presence and care of his family members.
Doctors reported Vinod’s death to police : Relatives
On the contrary Vinod’s relatives claimed that the doctors had declared the patient dead and had informed the police control room asking them to inform the relatives to take the dead body. It was after that the patient’s relatives had procured the things to perform the last rites like the bamboo structure on which a dead body is taken for cremation, new cloth to be spread of the bamboo poles, flowers and other goods.
Sometimes relatives do insist on patient’s discharge
Another doctor on condition of anonymity told Nagpur Today that there have been many instances when the patient’s relatives pressurize them to release the patient especially when the bill for the treatment increases. The patient’s relatives allege and threaten the treating doctor of getting commission from the chemists for the medicine he prescribes or from the pathology and other diagnostic centers for performing various tests and diagnosis. The relatives sometimes demand doctors to shift him to government hospitals or to remove the ventilator and such things. Often the doctor is left with no option but to adhere to the wishes of the relatives of the patient. However he agreed that there are some unscrupulous doctors who for the sake of earning some extra money, indulge in such practices or err in their diagnosis or the state of a particular patient. He urged the media not to jump to conclusions.
Going by the video bytes of all concerned in this case, it points towards mutual understanding between the relatives and hospital authorities for covering up the glitch.