The suicide of Dr. Archana Sharma, a doctor in Rajasthan after she was wrongfully accused of murder has shocked the state and sparked protests in the national capital Delhi. Doctors have taken to the streets to demand that the state police be punished as they had filed a murder charge against Archana Sharma after receiving allegations from the family of a patient who had died in her private hospital.
The patient in question died on Tuesday at Dr. Archana’s private hospital in Dausa, Rajasthan, of a haemorrhage immediately after giving birth. Her relatives later staged protests outside the hospital and only left when the police charged Dr. Archana Sharma and her husband with murder.
The rallies and the filing of the First Information Report identifying Archana Sharma upset her, according to the police.
The doctor, who co-owned the hospital with her husband, wrote a devastating suicide note in which she proclaimed her innocence.
Despite all efforts to save her, the patient died of postpartum haemorrhage, she wrote. Her message, scrawled in all-caps, was, “Don’t harass innocent doctors.” She went on to say that her death would establish her innocence.
She also urged the police not to persecute her husband and two small children after she died in the handwritten message.
Dr. Sunil Upadhyay, Dr. Archana Sharma’s distressed husband, told NDTV: “There should be action against the police. How did they file a case of Section 302 (murder) against her? There should be a law to stop harassing doctors and demanding money from them. My wife has died but what about other innocent doctors?”
The medical community has been stunned by the incidence. In Rajasthan, the Indian Medical Association has called for a 24-hour strike and protest day.
Residents at AIIMS have organised a symbolic protest in Delhi, donning black ribbons.
The Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association has also denounced the occurrence and requested that the doctor’s family be compensated.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot promised action in the case, tweeting: “The suicide incident of Dr Archana Sharma is deeply saddening. We consider doctors as gods. To save the life of patients, every doctor tries their best, but in case of any mishappening, it is not justified to blame the doctors.”
The Chief Minister has stated that a comprehensive investigation into the event is underway, and that suitable action would be taken following the completion of the probe.