Was Justice JS Verma's death a case of medical negligence?

Justice Verma died on April 21, 2013, at Medanta Hospital in Gurgaon where doctors ascertained that the cause of his death was multiple organ failure.

FP Staff October 07, 2013 15:26:02 IST

New Delhi: Six months after his death, former Chief Justice of India JS Verma's family has alleged that medical negligence killed the eminent jurist. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has now stepped in asking the Health Ministry to look into the case.

Justice Verma died on April 21, 2013, at Medanta Hospital in Gurgaon where doctors ascertained that the cause of his death was multiple organ failure.

Was Justice JS Vermas death a case of medical negligence

Justice JS Verma. IBNLive.

Justice Verma's wife Pushpa Verma wrote to the PM accusing Medanta Hospital of medical negligence. She said, "If those responsible for this malpractice can be brought to book, at least that would be something good to come out of the injustice done to me." She has also has provided her husband's medical records for perusal by an investigating body.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has assured a speedy response in his letter, "I agree with you on the need to fix responsibility if there were lapses in his (Justice Verma's) treatment. My office has forwarded your letter to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and it is in consultation with the Medical Council of India for further necessary action on the issues you have raised."

In a response to CNN-IBN Medanta Hospital authorities said, "Justice Verma had been suffering from Coronory Artery disease for ten years. At Medanta, JS Verma was being treated with only medication. When Verma came to Medanta, he had already received treatment at two other hospitals. The family did not know he had a massive liver cirrhosis and 80 to 90 per cent of the liver was already gone."

"It's a serious case of negligence, the doctor himself has admitted that he made a mistake. Justice Verma's two children are both doctors and they have cross-checked the medical proof themselves. We had written to the Medical Council ourselves but they did nothing, so we were forced to write to the PM," said Supreme Court lawyer Kamini Jaiswal.

Thirty-four eminent personalities have written to the Prime Minister pledging their support for looking into the alleged negligence of Medanta Hospital. The names include the likes of former Chief Justice MN Venkatachaliah, former Justice RS Sodhi, former Solicitor General Soli Sorabjee, former Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam and activist Aruna Roy.

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