Doctors can't treat without touching: HC to man who slapped doctor for touching wife
A man accused of assaulting a doctor for allegedly misbehaving with his wife, while she was being examined at a hospital was recently denied anticipatory bail by the Kerala High Court. Justice A Badharudeen while taking a serious view of the matter said that it would be difficult for a doctor to pursue his profession if a patient is aggrieved by the doctor touching her during clinical examination.
Justice A Badharudeen while taking a serious view of the matter said that it would be difficult for a doctor to pursue his profession if a patient is aggrieved by the doctor touching her during clinical examination.
"Doctors, who had turmoiled their energy and time to learn the method of treating patients, when examining patients clinically, cannot do the said exercise without touching the patients. If a patient, who wants treatment, is aggrieved in the matter of touch on the body of the petitioner as part of the examination, it is difficult for a doctor to do his medical profession by resorting to clinical examination. The same would include placing of Stethoscope on the left chest portion of the patient to observe and evaluate the heartbeat," the Kerala High Court said.
The court however observed that genuine cases of misbehaviour by a doctor overstepping their limits cannot be ignored. "At the same time, this Court is conscious of the fact that all allegations on the ground of misbehavior by overstepping the limit of the doctor while examining patients are false. Genuine cases of such nature could not be ruled out in toto, " the judge said.
The court also said that the truth of those allegations should be evaluated based on evidence and circumstances to separate the grain from the chaff. The HC was hearing a plea filed by the accused seeking anticipatory bail. The prosecution contended that on January 8 at around 6 pm when the defect complainant, who is a doctor by profession, was on call-duty, he had examined the wife of the accused. The accused said have caught hold of the doctor's collar and slapped him on the allegation that he had touched the body of his wife. The counsel for the accused however contended that the doctor had misbehaved with his wife, following which a complaint was lodged by the wife against the doctor. The accused also contended that he is innocent and added that this case was filed as a counter blast to avoid legal consequences which would arise out of the case lodged by the accused's wife.
The prosecution on the other hand strongly opposed the anticipatory bail plea and said that the accused has criminal antecedents and various crimes have been registered against him. After going through the records, the court noted that the doctor had examined the accused in the presence of two sisters in an open space at the hospital. The prosecution said that the case of misbehaviour was registered only after the registration of the crime against the accused. Hence the anticipatory bail plea was rejected stating that it would create a dangerous situation whereby doctors who are duty bound to treat patients as part of their oath, will not get protection and proper maintenance of health of the public at large would be in peril.