Fellow doctors wrote that doctors are not gods and don’t have magic to defeat death every time, and demanded that cyber laws should be rewritten.

Dr Anoop in his surgical clothes a dark blue shirt a white mask and a green head cover
news Obituary Friday, October 02, 2020 - 12:29

The death of Dr Anoop Krishna, a young orthopaedic surgeon based in Kollam, Kerala, has left the medical community in the state shaken. According to the police, 35-year-old Anoop died by suicide and wrote ‘sorry’ on a wall in his house. They are probing whether the doctor took the step as he had received a lot of flak recently on social media for a surgery at his hospital in which a six-year-old child had died. Doctors in Kerala have come out in support of Anoop, condemning such ‘trial by media’ without understanding facts, and demanding a proper law against such attacks.

The doctor, who ran Anoop Ortho Centre in Kollam, had agreed to do a surgery on a six-year-old girl, reportedly after more than one other doctor had refused to take it up during the pandemic. The child was given anesthesia during the surgery. However, she developed a heart attack and was rushed to the Kollam Medical College, but could not be saved. Relatives of the child blamed the doctor for her death and protested outside the hospital.

Anoop had reportedly gone through a lot of mental stress and went to his home in Kollam where he took his life, leaving behind his wife and little son. Many doctors have pointed out that Anoop has done several successful surgeries, and sometimes things may not go as planned.

Dr Sulphi Noohu of the Indian Medical Association - Thiruvananthapuram chapter - condemned the attack on his fellow doctor calling Anoop 'a martyr of social media trial'.

"The child suffered a rare difficulty from anesthesia during the surgery and had a cardiac arrest. Despite all the attempts to save her including taking her to another hospital, the child passed away. And there comes a bunch of social media warriors to do a trial. They wrote a verdict that the doctor was guilty. They even wrote that the doctor killed the child for a little money," Dr Sulphi wrote.

He said that the aim of these social media trials was the publicity they'd gain through the circulation of such negative news.

"Kerala lost a good doctor, Anoop's family lost a loving individual, his little child lost a father, and wife a loving husband, his buddies lost a zestful friend. Those who did his trial on social media lost nothing," Dr Sulphi wrote, adding that action should be taken against those who he alleges are indirectly responsible for Anoop's death. Cyber laws should be rewritten, he said. “While people should have the freedom to express thoughts, it should never be used to tarnish personal image”, he added.

Putting out facts of the surgery, a Twitter user by the name of Mavelipraja, who is also a doctor, said that Anoop offered to do a leg surgery at his clinic for the 6-year-old child free of cost as the girls’ family was not economically well-off. The child, who had a history of congenital heart disease, however, developed an abnormal heart rhythm post surgery- which was possibly due to a complication of the anesthesia. The child later passed away. 

Another doctor who works in Ernakulam and did not know Anoop personally wrote an obit for the deceased man, to lend a word of support. "I saw comments which said he didn't have mental strength and a doctor should have more self-restraint. Those words become hollow when I think of the conflicts you would have gone through," Dr Sunil PK wrote in a note addressed to Anoop.

A noted ortho surgeon like Anoop did not deserve such an end, Sunil wrote.

"Anoop took up the surgery of the six-year-old child who had a birth defect, not because he was greedy for money. He took it up seeing the family's desperation after several other hospitals had refused to treat the child who had a heart problem and also realising that the surgery will not be so effective once she grew up. His anesthetist wife was also with him. It's said that the surgery rates were also reduced," Dr Sunil explains.

He also explains how the child developed ventricular fibrillation, a problem that occurs when the heart beats erratically, which costs the child's life.

Writing about the attack by the media and political parties, Dr Sunil writes that no life can be replaced by another. "Many people would still need treatment and surgery for serious diseases. Doctors could not save every life. They don't have the magic to defeat death every time. A doctor grieves with the family every time a patient dies, despite their best efforts to save them. I hope it won't cost their own lives anymore."

Another doctor - Rajina Fameesh - writes that doctors are not gods but humans. She also shared a video of a song that Anoop sang, holding his little child.

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