August 1, 2013

Ankur arora murder case

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:15 am by chait83

I Recently saw this movie “Ankur Arora murder case”. The movie is about a kid who dies after his surgery because of negligence of the doctor, who is subsequently prosecuted and ultimately truth triumphs over evil bollywood style. I am engineer, but still feel that it’s too harsh a critique on the surgeons.

Let’s assume that a particular surgeon is an evil money monger as shown in the movie, but some facts.

It takes lot of dedication to be a skillful surgeon and at least 10 years of academic training.
We all make mistakes at times in a very critical situation and so do surgeons. The surgeons have very less room for error compared to most of the other professions and is associated with severe consequence for trivial mistakes.

Now coming back to the movie, our antagonist Kay Kay Menon is a top class surgeon, arrogant of his abilities and his status in the medical fraternity. In a surgery he forgets that the kid has eaten biscuits before the surgery which he shouldn’t have. Post-surgery the kid goes in coma and the doctors know that he will die soon. They cover up the situation by putting him on a ventilator and give some techie explanation to the mother, who obviously fails to grasp the situation. As predicted the kid dies. There is a court case and the hospital is made to pay 10 cr to ailing mother, plus imprisonment for the doctor. So what purpose does it serve, the kid is already dead and hospital is deprived of a good surgeon however arrogant he might be.

This could have been easily averted had the mother taken caution and prevented her kid from eating anything before the surgery. Now there is a scene where the lady signs the consent form for the surgery just like that, without giving it a second glance. Lady you are not creating an email account to ignore the technical terms, you kid’s life is at stake literally and the doctor is not god to trust blindly (Anyways blind faith is always bad).

I have heard stories similar to this one, although never witnessed one. I am sane enough to understand that these things are not rare occurrences in India. Most of the surgeons do make fatal mistakes similar to our surgeon here in the movie. The issue here in India is great disparity between no. of skillful surgeons available and no. of patients, who are unaware of their legal rights and whose life is too cheap for legal experts to give a second thought. Even most of our literati won’t be able to distinguish between civil and criminal court, let alone their legal rights and with a huge population of illiterates or barely literates the doctors in India are rarely prosecuted in such cases.

As my grandfather use to say “a wise man never goes to court”, we have to be proactive and take some preemptive measures in such situations. Dragging surgeons to court is certainly not the solution to our problem and the society will have to bear the brunt of putting surgeons behind the bars. However trivial a surgery might appear, we have to be absolutely sure of what we are getting into. Sometimes a patient can die because of anesthesia administered to pull out their tooth.

So here’s that we can do when our dear ones are going for a surgery. We need to spend at least a day or two understanding what are the implications of the surgery, what are possible risks, refer to friends and acquaintances who are expert in that domain.

Two most important things that I would do in such situations:

Cross question the doctor on every single word that I don’t understand on the consent form, also make the surgeon aware that you have done some solid homework as well. This should indicate the surgeon that you are not someone who can be taken for granted. A doctor who is not willing to spend time with me for this procedure is either arrogant or incompetent, in either case not worth the risk. Find another doctor who understands that it is important to spare time for this process.
Understand all the possible risks that might arise and their mitigation. When both the doctor and the patient are on the same page, this should make the doctor’s job easier. I feel we should be little more empathetic towards surgeons as well in worst case scenario. An unintentional mistake of the surgeon should be forgiven. If the risks are too high/many, maybe we might not go for surgery.

Miracles can happen people can survive worst kind of errors made in the surgery, preoperative and postoperative care. I would rather trust my common sense more than an divine intervention.

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