Pakistani Pediatrician Charged with Medical Negligence and Manslaughter after Allegedly Reusing HIV Infected Syringes
As reported by the Independent.co.uk, almost 900 Pakistani children and about 200 adults have tested positive for HIV in the city of Ratodero after receiving injections from a doctor that allegedly reused HIV infected syringes. Some children have died after becoming infected and those that are living with the disease are often shunned because of a misunderstanding that HIV can be contracted by touch. Health officials believe that the true number of those infected could be higher as they have tested less than one quarter of Ratodero’s 200,000 residents to date. According to the United Nations’ taskforce on HIV and Aids, HIV infections in Pakistan have nearly doubled to 160,000 since 2010.
While pediatrician Dr. Muzaffar Ghanghro was initially blamed for the outbreak of HIV and arrested and charged with negligence and manslaughter, he is now working as a General Practitioner in a public hospital. Dr. Ghanghro has denied all accusations. According to a report by The New York Times, health workers believe that there are other doctors, dentists and barbers reusing syringes and using unsterilized tools that could have contributed to the outbreak. According to the United Nations joint program on HIV and Aids, there are thought to be about 270,000 unqualified doctors unlawfully practicing in Sindh province where Ratodero is located. While the Pakistani government has attempted to shut down clinics run by unregistered doctors – many of whom were reusing syringes-; several clinics have since reopened.
What is medical negligence?
Medical negligence may have occurred if a medical practitioner failed to provide a reasonably expected standard of care in a particular set of circumstances that resulted in the injury or death of a patient.
The four elements required to prove medical negligence are duty of care, breach of duty, injury and damages.
A duty of care is owed to the patient once a doctor/patient relationship is established. The physician has a duty to act the way other doctors would act in a similar situation and must follow medical care guidelines broadly accepted in the medical community. A relationship is established when you provide medical information to the doctor’s office and verbally to the physician, followed by an examination.
If a doctor doesn’t follow his duty once the relationship and duty of care have been established; he is in breach of his duty.
An injury must have been sustained from the breach. Additionally, the medical malpractice lawyer must prove that the doctor’s action or in-action was the cause of the injury.
The victim must have suffered damages, either economic or non-economic, as a result of the injury. Obvious economic damages could be hospital bills or loss of wages due to time off of work. Non-economic damages may include emotional distress from loss of physical ability due to the injury.
Seek the help of a medical malpractice lawyer
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