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Creating Waves of Awareness

Violence And Attacks Against Health Care Workers Doctors and Nurses

When patients' relatives attack the doctors, usually we expect a strike from the doctors. To a certain extent it is reasonable provided the strike doesn’t affect the patients. But one report in today’s regional newspaper really surprised me.


The other day, one psychiatric patient slapped the doctor at a mental hospital in Kerala. Immediately, the KGMOA (Kerala Government Medical Officers Association) conducted a strike to protest the act.

With great sympathy to that innocent doctor, let me tell one thing. When a mentally challenged patient, without knowing the seriousness of his behavior, does some thing wrong it is not a reason for them to protest. It is the part of his sickness, so what they need is precautions while managing such cases.


Mentally unbalanced woman talks about her experience.


In another incident, a young psychiatric patient was brutally killed at the mental hospital in Kerala. As per the post mortem report, there were almost 71 injury marks on his body. They say that he was violent; hence they had to manage him physically. Instead of using some sedatives, they used iron roads and hammers!

Now I wonder, who is actually mentally challenged?


  • Times Of India| April 22, 2012

    NEW DELHI: A desperate, unsuccessful effort to save a 16-year-old girl's life led to a team of six doctors being assaulted early on Friday by a group of 25 persons accompanying the girl, who objected to their providing cardiopulmonary cerebral resuscitation. The procedure involves pressing down hard and rapidly on the chest and blowing into the patient's mouth.

  • KevinMD| Attacks on doctors on the rise. Due to the frequent threats on specialists in this area, "according to a survey conducted in 2005, 40 percent of emergency physicians admitted to carrying a gun."

  • Slate | How can doctors practice medicine safely without compromising on care? "According to 2005 data from Bureau of Labor Statistics, health care workers are twice as likely as those in other fields to experience an injury from a violent act at work, with nurses being the most common victims."  Threats can come in the form of both physical and verbal attacks.

  • CNN Report On China | Why have doctors become victims of violence?

    Some 55.6% of respondents said the society is simply prejudiced against the medical profession, 23.5% of doctors did not properly communicate with their patients and 20.6% said treatment cannot meet patients' high expectations.

  • The Economist | Chinese Doctors In Crisis Mode


The data, stories and violent incidents upon physicians in clinics, hospitals and emergency rooms become a call to action to protect those who serve. Females may be targeted more often, but health care workers who interact with emotionally and mentally unstable persons need support systems put in place. When dealing with a wild animal, you never know who and when an attack will come. 






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Comment by Dr Muhammed Rafeeque on August 23, 2012 at 12:25am

Here in Kerala, the recent clinical trial killed almost 100 innocent people. The central government is investigating the same.

Comment by Dr Nikhil Kambli on August 22, 2012 at 3:48am

also there is threesome tug of war between expectations of a patient vs what can actually be done vs what doctors say they can do.

Comment by Dr Nikhil Kambli on August 22, 2012 at 3:44am

the fight is between ethics morals social values vs professionalism corporate legal .

the same may  not be the case in developed countries where professional corporate and legal issues take primary focus .

Comment by Dr Nikhil Kambli on August 22, 2012 at 3:41am


   sadly the wold over the pharma lobby has become strong they sponsor education clinical trials studies etc

but over a period of time especially the scenario in india is that dr should  be available 24x7 also what the doctor views as urgent or non urgent the views may vary with patient . also the patient goes on seeking multiple opinions and leaves in between

Comment by Viktor Kalocsai on August 18, 2012 at 7:08am

'Game Changer'...

What happens worldwide is the result of the greedy, corporatist system in which the value of the Man is on the last place. Most of the Doctors today became money chasing individuals. Besides, the System in most climes became so corrupt that the entire system is screwed up and wont let the Doctors to heal.

In fact, they (in most places) are taught not to cure but to be dependent on the Big Pharma and its subsidiaries.

This includes the Governmental Authorities, Banking, Taxation, Insurance (the biggest scam in the world), Pension, Food Manufacturing/Processing, Logistics, Transportation systems and there is a big misconception about the institution of Family. Almost everything around is built upon the choice of ego. Yes, the system is broken. The Hearts must be united and the bridges must be built between the hearts to realize that we are one family and we should never fight with each other for ridiculous reasons, like, water, money, gold, diamonds, land, food and other trumped-up things, which only enhance the dissension and possession.

Comment by Debby Bruck on August 17, 2012 at 8:52am

Many, many reasons why patients and their families become so upset and dissatisfied that they go off the deep end and resort to violence. When the system is broken, the people also break mentally and have a break down. 

Comment by Dr Muhammed Rafeeque on August 16, 2012 at 12:52am

Various situations that can result in attacks on the doctors, staff and the hospitals:

1. A patient with mild troubles dies unexpectedly

2. Some severe reactions after a medicine

3. Wrong treatment given by mistake (Example: Operating the unaffected organ by mistake, surgical instruments left inside the body)

4. When an emergency case is rejected even without giving first aid (more worse when the victim dies on the way to another hospital)

5. Patient dies after a surgical procedure

6. When an admitted patient is not given proper care, and whose condition goes worse

7. When a serious case is not referred to a higher center on time

8. Failure in disease diagnosis

9. Doctors or staff asking bribe from the patients (more common in government hospitals)

10. Any mistakes committed by the hospital staff

11. Misbehavior, especially on the female patients

12. As an emotional reaction to an unexpected event

13. People under the effect of alcohol

14. Politicians or criminals purposely attacking hospitals or doctors under the influence of somebody

15. When there is no proper communication with the patients and their relatives on the disease status and its complications, there is chance for an attack when any complication happens.

16. Over-restrictions on the visitors and bystanders often create issues

17. Doctors hesitating to give reports and other records to the patients

18. Complications and side effects of treatment

19. Heavy bill, even after the patient is dead

20. Ignoring an emergency call to attend one serious patient

21. Unnecessary treatments that causes loss of health and money

22. A patient in trouble is neglected by the doctors and nurses, even after repeated requests

23. Removing an organ without patients permission (Association with Kidney rackets)

24. Misguided public under the influence of crowd psychology

25. Drug testing without patients knowledge and permission

The list never ends here…

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