In Rajasthan, doctor dies by suicide after being charged with causing pregnant woman's death

Taking serious note of a suicide of a doctor in Dausa after being accused of murder, Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Wednesday orde...

Taking serious note of a suicide of a doctor in Dausa after being accused of murder, Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Wednesday ordered the removal of a senior police officer and suspension of an SHO.

The doctor, who had been booked for allegedly causing the death of a pregnant woman in Rajasthan’s Dausa district died by suicide on Tuesday, 29 March, PTI reported. According to the police, the pregnant woman died at the hospital run by Dr Archana Sharma and her husband on Tuesday.

An FIR was registered against Archana at the Lalsot Police Station after family members of the pregnant woman held a demonstration outside the hospital and demanded immediate action against the erring doctor. Stressed over the FIR, Archana hanged herself to death, police said.

“The doctor was booked for the death of the pregnant woman due to negligence in treatment. This afternoon, the doctor hanged herself to death at her residence above the hospital,” Additional SP (Dausa) Lal Chand Kayal said.

However, the doctor in a suicide letter said she had not made any mistake and that the patient died due to a complication.

According to an official release, Gehlot has directed the officials to remove Dausa Superintendent of Police Anil Kumar, suspended SHO of Lalsot Police Station Ankesh Kumar and put Deputy Superintendent of Police Lalsot Shankar Lal under awaiting posting orders.

Divisional Commissioner Jaipur Dinesh Kumar Yadav will conduct an administrative inquiry into the matter.

Gehlot gave the instructions in a high-level meeting at his residence on Wednesday evening. "It was decided in the meeting that strict action should be taken against those who abetted the woman to commit suicide by registering a case," a release said.

The chief minister also directed to constitute a committee led by an additional chief secretary (home) to prevent the recurrence of such incidents and to give necessary suggestions.

The committee will comprise secretaries of the medical and health department, medical education department, senior officers from police and law departments and doctors. The committee will study all the legal aspects and will prepare a guideline, which will be implemented across the state.

Gehlot also condemned the incident and said an inquiry is going on and those found guilty will not be spared.

"The incident of Dr Archana Sharma's suicide in Dausa is very sad. We all give the status of god to doctors. Every doctor tries his best to save the life of the patient, but it is not justified to accuse the doctor as soon as any unfortunate incident happens,” Gehlot tweeted earlier in the day.

"If doctors will be intimidated like this, then how will they be able to do their work with confidence? We all should think about how such treatment can be done to the doctors who served all by risking their lives during covid pandemic,” he added.

The Rajasthan State Commission for Women has taken cognizance of the matter and sought a factual report from police within seven days.

Relatives of Asha Bairwa, the woman who died on Monday, accused Sharma of negligence and held a demonstration with the dead body outside Anand Hospital in Lalsot, Dausa -- owned by Sharma and her husband Dr Suneet Upadhyaya.

In her suicide note in Hindi, Sharma wrote, “I love my husband and children very much. Please do not trouble my husband and children after my death. I did not commit any mistake and did not kill anyone. PPH is a severe complication, stop harassing doctors for it. My death may prove my innocence. Don't harass innocent doctors, please.” According to Sharma, the cause of Bairwa's death was Postpartum Hemorrhage (PPH), a medical condition under which severe bleeding happens after childbirth.

With inputs from PTI

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