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Institute Of Medicine & Law launches Dr Archana Sharma MedLegal helpdesk

To offer free legal advice to doctors facing criminal medical negligence

India’s leading medico-legal solutions provider – Institute of Medicine & Law (IML) has launched a national helpdesk service to offer legal advice to doctors who are threatened and / or are facing police action for medical negligence. Introduced as ‘Dr Archana Sharma MedLegal Helpdesk’, lawyers from the Supreme Court will advise and counsel doctors, and may also intervene with the police authorities where required. 

IML will also help aggrieved doctors in filing a ‘Contempt Petition’ before the Supreme Court where Police action is contrary to or inconsistent with the directions given by the Supreme Court in the Jacob Mathew case. IML has introduced the initiative against the backdrop of the recent, unfortunate suicide of Dr Archana Sharma, a gynaecologist practising in Rajasthan.

Indian Society of Critical Care Medicine (ISCCM), All India Ophthalmological Society (AIOS), Indian Medical Association (IMA), Association of Physicians of India (API), Indian Rheumatology Association (IRA), and Neurological Society of India (NSI) are a few of the national medical Associations that have partnered with IML for this initiative.

“On March 29, 2022, India witnessed a very unfortunate event. A doctor committed suicide due to a deliberate misinterpretation of the law and gross misuse of Police power. This tragic event could have been avoided if only Dr Archana Sharma was aware of her legal rights and privileges in a police case which unfortunately most doctors in India are not. To ensure that such incidents are not repeated in future, IML has launched a helpdesk for doctors to make them aware of their legal rights and privileges. Through this initiative we aim to apprise doctors of the criminal laws applicable to medical practice, the salutary protection given to them in cases of criminal medical negligence, and ways and means to use this legal protection,” says Ravindra Mangal, Executive Director, IML.

IML is willing to provide speakers to any medical society, hospital, medical college, or doctors’ group that wishes to conduct a webinar on this subject. An email request can be sent to helpdesk@imlindia.com.

“IML will offer legal advice to doctors being threatened or are facing police action for medical negligence. Lawyers from the Supreme Court will advise and counsel doctors and will also speak with the police if required. Another feature of this service would be helping aggrieved doctors in filing a ‘Contempt Petition’ before the Supreme Court in case the police are acting contrary to or inconsistent with the directions given in the Jacob Mathews case. We will also train doctor-volunteers under the Train-the-Trainer (TTT) model who then can conduct more such programs to create awareness among peers, especially in Tier II and Tier III cities and smaller towns. IML will provide content and reference material on the subject and update these volunteers with the changes happening in law free of cost,” concludes Mangal.

 

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