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Delhi High Court : Removal of Doctors name from Indian Medical Register is like Civil Death

New Delhi : A single judge bench of Justice C Hari Shankar of Delhi High Court observed that baseless targeting of doctors is bound to “seriously prejudice” public interest and that striking off name of such a doctor from the Indian Medical Register “partakes character of a civil death” in view of the individual’s professional career.

Justice C Hari Shankar further added “While it is true that a medical professional is expected to possess a certain minimum standard of competence, failing which he has no justification for dispensing medical treatment, and that conduct which fall short of even that minimum medical standard, or display callous negligence to the welfare of a patient, has to be dealt with severely, it is equally true that the scalpel cannot be wielded by a shaking hand. Baseless targeting of doctors, unmindful of the consequences, is bound, in the ultimate eventuate, to seriously prejudice public interest.”

The court made the observations while setting aside an order issued by the Ethics Committee of the erstwhile Medical Council of India directing removal of the name of a practising radiologist from the Indian Medical Register temporarily for a period of three months for falsifying records. The allegation against the medical professional was regarding medical negligence which contributed to the unfortunate death of a woman. Justice Shankar also observed that there was no observation or finding in the impugned order to sustain the conclusion that the practising radiologist had falsified the hospital records.