Priya death case: Madras HC denies bail to doctors, asks them to surrender to cops

The two doctors of the Government Peripheral Hospital in Periyar Nagar were suspended on grounds of medical negligence after the death of 18-year-old Priya.
Priya Chennai Football Player death
Priya Chennai Football Player death
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Two doctors of the Government Peripheral Hospital in Periyar Nagar, accused of botching the surgery of 18-year-old footballer Priya, moved the Madras High Court for anticipatory bail on Friday, November 18. Two doctors — Paul Ramsankar, Assistant Professor of Orthopaedics, and Casualty Medical Officer Somasundhar — were suspended after a series of botched surgeries led to Priya’s death on November 15. However, the court rejected the anticipatory bail plea, and asked them to surrender to the police. The doctors contended that the issue has been politicised and that they feared surrendering to the police due to threats, to which the court said that necessary protection would be granted by the state government.

The state Health Ministry had, on November 10, constituted an expert committee after the footballer underwent surgery to repair torn ligaments in her right knee, but due to a blood clot, her leg had to be amputated. However, her condition did not improve and two follow-up surgeries were conducted, following which she died on November 15. The expert committee’s report, submitted on November 17, named the operating surgeon, the theatre anesthetist, the duty medical officer, the duty CMO (orthopaedic surgeon), and the post-operative ward staff as responsible for her death. Cases were registered against them under 304A (causing death by negligence) of the Indian Penal Code at Kolathur police station.

In the anticipatory bail plea, the doctors mentioned that they did many successful surgeries in the past, and that Priya’s death was unfortunate. The doctors further said that they applied for anticipatory bail, as they were supposed to appear before the expert committee inquiring into her death. The petition was listed before the Madras High Court bench chaired by Justice AD Jagadish Chandra.

On November 16, Tamil Nadu State Human Rights Commission initiated a suo motu case over Priya's death, and asked the Health and Family Welfare Department to submit its report regarding the incident. It has questioned the conditions of the hospitals in the state and sought a report from the department in 6 weeks.

On November 15, 18-year-old Priya, a resident of Vyasarpadi, died due to multiorgan failure at RGGGH. Before she was admitted to RGGGH, she underwent a surgery for ligament tears on her right knee at Government Peripheral Hospital at Periyar Nagar.

Tamil Nadu Minister of Health and Family Welfare Ma Subramanian had said a compression bandage used on Priya — after she underwent a procedure called arthroscopy — was too tight and it affected the blood flow, causing the veins to decay. She was shifted to RGGGH on November 8 because of the pain and other complications. But on November 14 night, her organs started failing and she died on the morning of November 15. Priya’s kin demanded the immediate arrest of doctors and revocation of their medical licence to stop them from practising further.

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