ISLAMABAD: Five doctors from a government hospital have been taken in custody by the police for alleged manslaughter.
The case was registered with the Karachi Company Police, 22 months after the incident took place after a court directive, on charges that include section 322 (punishment for qatl-bis-sabab) of the Pakistan Penal Code.
Complainant Ahsan ul Haq said he had been trying to register the case for nearly two years, but alleged that the police had ignored those complaints lodged against the doctors. He quoted the police as telling him: “Do you know how big the hospital is and who are running it?”
Speaking to a media source, Mr. Haq reported that he took his pregnant wife to a hospital in Islamabad on May 19, 2016, where the doctor declared it to be an emergency case and must be admitted immediately. Upon paying the admission fee, he was informed that no rooms were available, and was asked to return the next day. His wife was taken into surgery and after the operation and birth of their son, Mr Haq was told that his wife’s condition deteriorated, and she was placed on a ventilator. Later that night, she passed away.
Mr. Haq approached the Islamabad District and Sessions Court, where he submitted a Criminal Procedure Code 22-A application and was asked by the additional sessions judge to lodge a complaint with the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC).
He informed that the PMDC issued a decision in November 2017 and found medical negligence on the part of the doctors. In the meantime, however, the additional session judge had dismissed Mr. Haq’s petition in September.
“I approached the District and Sessions court again, lodged another petition under CrPC 22–B, seeking directions for the police to register a case against the doctors and the hospital,” he said. The court decided in his favor & ordered the police to take action.
Mr. Haq claimed that his wife died on the operating table, and that her body was placed on a ventilator only to charge him more for the treatment. He said he has sought legal action against the doctors involved as well as the hospital. However, he claimed that, the police were under the influence and pressure of the doctors and the hospital. Police personnel took two days to register the case after the court order. “I remained at the police station for two days until the registration of the case, even though the officials asked me to leave,” he said.
He was recently informed that no action was taken and the doctors obtained bail.