The National Human Rights Commission has taken suo motu cognizance of a media report that a one year old child, suffering from fever and swollen neck, died as he was not attended by the doctors at the District Hospital Kannauj, Uttar Pradesh. After waiting 45 minutes his poor parents were told to take him to the District Hospital, Kanpur for treatment. The poor family, having no money with them was not in a position to take the child to the district hospital and later when the matter came into the notice of some media persons and other officers, the child was admitted in the hospital where he died after sometime.

Looking into the gravity of the reported issue, the Commission has issued a notice to the Chief Secretary, Government of Uttar Pradesh calling for a detailed report in the matter, within four weeks including the action taken against the delinquent doctors/ officials of the hospital concerned and status of any relief given to the family of the deceased child by the State Government.

According to the media report, carried on 30th June, 2020, the family of the victim child has reportedly alleged that the doctors refused to treat him and even did not bother to touch the child. The family has alleged that due to sheer negligence by the doctors, the treatment to save the life of the child was not provided in time, which resulted into death of their son. The District Magistrate and the CMO have reportedly denied the allegations stating that the child was brought to the hospital in very serious condition and the doctors had provided necessary medical treatment to the child. Reportedly, a video of a man clinging to the body of his one-year-old son in his arms, his wife sitting at a distance and both crying bitterly, had also emerged from the district hospital of Kannauj on Monday.

The Commission has observed that the contents of the news report, if true, raise serious issue of violation of human rights. This is not the first case of alleged negligence and denial of treatment to the patients by doctors in the recent past. It has come across many such complaints and media reports where the patients even in emergency conditions were not provided necessary lifesaving treatment by the doctors, at various government run and private hospitals in Uttar Pradesh.

The Commission has already expressed its serious concern over the issue of reckless attitude of the doctors and medical staff towards patients in need during this period of crises when the country is fighting against the pandemic caused by the spread of Covid-19 virus.

The Commission on 08.06.2020, taking suo-motu cognizance of death of a pregnant lady due to alleged denial of treatment by many hospitals in Gautam Budh Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh, had emphasized upon the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the government of Uttar Pradesh to issue suitable directions to all the hospitals to comply with the Standard Operating Procedure and not to deny medical treatment to any of the patients who are being brought to the hospital for medical treatment.

The Commission has once again reiterated that such unfortunate loss of human lives due to denial of medical treatment by the hospitals, is gross violation of right to life and basic medical care and the state, being duty bound to protect the lives of its citizens is responsible for such tragic deaths.

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