Some doctors are callous, negligent: they torment patients: SC
Even the rights of a rape victim and a destitute woman are hindered by some doctors leaving her to suffer irreparable mental injury, cautioned the Supreme Court. The Court was considering the case of a Bihari woman who was abandoned by her parents. She had no place to live and chose the footpath. She was raped by an unidentified man. Some social workers in Patna came to her rescue and gave her government shelter.
She was pregnant and HIV infected. As per the medical termination of pregnancy act, she could undergo abortion but because of the callous attitude of the doctors it got delayed. At last when the medical board was constituted, undue delay had taken place and doctors opined that if abortion was done it could be risky and cause serious consequences. When she could not get the desired relief from the Patna High Court, she was compelled to move the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court noted that due to the callous attitude of the doctors, abortion could not be performed now. The Court directed the Bihar Government to pay her compensation of Rs 10 lakh as well as give proper care and nutrition to the child-to-be-born.
The Court observed that the traumatic experience the helpless woman had to undergo could have been avoided if the doctors were responsible and dutiful. The delay caused was totally unwarranted. Even the Bihar High Court that dealt with the case at the first instance should have been cautious and sensitive to the issue, the doctors should have conducted themselves with accentuated sensitivity, taking due care and caution to safeguard the precious rights of a woman.
Ultimately she suffered much mental agony and torture due to the negligent behavior of the doctors. Even the Mental Health Care Act passed by the Union Government very recently were set at naught by the doctors and authorities concerned, the Court said.