The dangerous doctors who get away
Why medical negligence battles in India are seldom won by patients, no matter how strong the evidence.
15 February 2021
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There’s a hospital in Mumbai named Jupiter, and it has more complaints than its namesake planet has moons. Its motto is “patient first”, but some patients admitted into its 400,000 sq. ft super-specialty expanse didn’t feel like they came first. Some never even lived to complain, so their loved ones speak on their behalf, manifesting the first four of grief’s seven stages on the internet. A woman who lost her father likens the hospital to Yamlok, the abode of the Hindu god of death. “If you love somebody, don’t admit them here,” warns a man who lost his newborn. Others call it a moneymaking racket. But hospitals and their doctors—especially those engaged in high-risk specialisations—are used to infuriation. Such is the double-edged nature of modern medicine: the better it gets at improving our health and life expectancy, the more inflamed our passions at the odd failure.

What happened to Sipra Bakshi was not the odd failure. It was negligence.

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