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MMA: Give doctor in navy cadet case a fair hearing

 | June 19, 2017

MMA president Dr Ravindran R Naidu says if the injuries were consistent with the history of the victim, the doctor might have had no suspicion at all that any unlawful act had been committed.

Ravindran-R-NaiduPETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) says the doctor who failed to report injuries sustained by a navy cadet before his death should be given a fair hearing by the health ministry.

“As responsible doctors, we wish to follow the law. Where we are reasonably sure that a criminal act has been performed on or by one of our patients, we will report it to the relevant authorities,” MMA president Dr Ravindran R Naidu said in a statement today.

He added that the attending doctor’s observations at the time he saw the patient “must be given the most weight”.

“What the doctor saw at the time of the patient’s visit might have been very different from what was seen at post-mortem.

“If the injuries were consistent with the history given by the victim, the doctor might have had no suspicion at all of any unlawful act having been committed.

“We hope, therefore, that the minister and his officials will hear the doctor’s side of the story fairly and come up with guidelines to ensure that such sad incidents do not recur,” he said.

Although he said patient confidentiality was “not an excuse”, he also stressed its importance, saying that any suspicion of criminal elements “would have to be very strong for us to breach it in even a very limited way”.

He also called on the higher education ministry to take an active role in investigating how “such profound brutality” could have gone undetected by the university’s authorities.

He was responding to a statement by health minister Dr S Subramaniam, who said the doctor would be summoned for an explanation following his failure to report injuries sustained by National Defence University of Malaysia (UPNM) student Zulfarhan Osman Zulkarnain to the police.

Zulfarhan, 21, died at the Serdang Hospital on June 1 after being assaulted and tortured by a group of students.

He was allegedly bound and beaten because of a dispute over a laptop, tortured with a belt, rubber hose, iron and hanger.

He was believed to have received treatment twice at private clinics. However, it was learned that the doctors who treated him did not direct him to be taken immediately to a hospital despite being aware of his serious condition.

Subramaniam said standard operating procedures dictated that doctors and hospitals have to report the matter directly to the police if a patient is injured due to an accident or is believed to have crime-related injuries.

“If a report is not lodged, it is wrong, because it is the responsibility and a practice that should be observed by the doctor treating the patient,” he told reporters yesterday.


Health ministry to summon doctor who treated Zulfarhan


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