In a historic decision that may have far-reaching consequences in medical negligence cases in India, the Medical Council of India (MCI) has informed today that medical license of two top Kolkata doctors, senior medicine specialist Sukumar Mukherjee and veteran dermatologist Baidyanath Halder, will be canceled for professional misconduct and causing death of Anuradha Saha, wife of PBT president Dr. Kunal Saha (see the MCI Order below). Anuradha, an NRI and US-based child psychologist, died on May 28, 1998 during a social visit to India at an age of only 36. Although the two doctors (plus late Dr. Abani Roychowdhury, Dr. Balaram Prasad and AMRI Hospital in Kolkata) were found responsible for Anuradha’s death even by the Supreme Court of India, the West Bengal Medical Council (WBMC) found nothing wrong with Anuradha’s treatment and acquitted all accused doctors against which an appeal was moved by Dr. Saha before the MCI. The MCI’s decision underscores the rotten status of the state medical councils that primarily shields their medical colleagues without caring for the lives of the defenseless patients.
However, MCI has decided to cancel their registrations of the two doctors for a period of only 3 months in view of their “advanced age”. But a young life was lost due to reckless treatment by these doctors who should not be shown leniency only because of their “advanced age”. These elderly doctors have come near the end of their professional career and a permanent cancellation of their license would not have affected much at this stage of their career instead, it would have sent a stronger signal for all negligent doctors. Dr. Saha has indicated that he might move the court seeking an enhancement of sentence for the two guilty doctors. Nevertheless, the MCI’s decision to cancel license of the two senior Kolkata doctors would bring hope for all victims of medical negligence.