Even as 16 doctors from Apollo Hospitals are scheduled to depose before the Justice Arumughaswamy Commission this week, the private institute that treated former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, filed a petition before the one-man panel on Thursday seeking an adjournment and rescheduling of its proceedings till a medical board is constituted.
According to news reports, Apollo Hospitals also requested the Commission to record the depositions of the doctors who treated the former Chief Minister to be recorded on audio and video. Apollo‚Äôs counsel told reporters that Jayalalithaa was treated by several expert doctors and that laypersons cannot give an opinion on the treatment given to her.
‚ÄúWe are not here to stall the proceedings of the Honourable Commission. Until now we have cooperated. We are only asking for medical witnesses‚Äô appearances to be rescheduled because we have a very legitimate request for a medical board to be constituted. We have also asked in that application for audio-visual recording of all the proceedings before the Honourable Commission. This is because there have been a lot of discrepancies in which the depositions have been spoken by the doctors and been recorded‚Ä¶ therefore if a correct assessment has to be made of what treatment was given by Apollo Hospital we want a board of at least doctors of 21 specialties to be constituted,‚ÄĚ said Apollo‚Äôs counsel Maimoona Badsha.
Apollo Hospitals had earlier filed a petition before the Commission requesting a medical board of doctors to record the statements of the doctors who treated the former Chief Minister.
‚ÄúIt is submitted that doctors from [Apollo] hospital who have deposed before the Hon'ble Commission have found it a challenge to explain the complexity of medical scientific facts, protocol, procedures to the Hon'ble Commission, which does not have a medical professional assisting it during the proceedings. It is clear from the depositions recorded that there are several serious errors that have crept in because of the inability of the typist himself to comprehend and type the correct medical terminology. This is in spite of doctors trying to explain and spell out terms over and over again," states the petition.
The petition also provided examples of these errors in which words such as 'intubation' and 'enterococcus' bacteria have been recorded as 'incubation' and 'endocarditis'.
Apollo Hospitals has locked horns with the standing counsel of the Commission following a petition filed on December 28. The petition by Mohammed Jafarullah Khan had stated that the doctors at Apollo failed to conduct an angiogram on Jayalalithaa, subsequently leading to her death.
The standing counsel for the Commission had also accused J Radhakrishnan, the Health Secretary of acting like Apollo Hospitals spokesperson. Radhakrishnan had in his deposition stated that he was not in favour of airlifting Jayalalithaa as that would be tantamount to insulting Indian doctors. Accusing Radhakrishnan of colluding with Apollo Hospitals, the Commission‚Äôs lawyer stated that the Health Secretary failed ‚Äėto appreciate the fact that the welfare of the patient is the paramount consideration‚Äô
The petition also stated that the then Chief Secretary Rama Mohana Rao provided false information to the Commission.