Leg used as pillow case: NHRC notices to UP govt, Health ministry

Leg used as pillow case: NHRC notices to UP govt, Health ministry

Leg used as pillow case: NHRC notices to UP govt, Health ministry

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has sent notices to the Uttar Pradesh government and the Union Health Ministry over an incident in which a man's leg severed in a bus accident was reportedly used as a headrest to prop him up in a state-run hospital in Jhansi.

"It is hard to understand ... how a reasonable person could do such an unfair act," the NHRC said on Monday.

"The incident demands not only fair investigation and action against the guilty public servants but also issuance of necessary directions and guidelines to all hospitals regarding strict compliance of standard norms for the disposal of bio-medical waste and amputated organs so that such incidents do not recur in future," it said.

The incident occurred at the Maharani Laxmibai Medical College, prompting the Uttar Pradesh government to suspend four staff and order a departmental probe into it.

The Commission has issued the notices to the chief secretary, seeking a detailed report.

"Also, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has been asked to submit a report, as to whether any instructions or guidelines on the subject have been issued to the doctors and hospitals, along with status of mechanism to monitor their implementation, across the country," the NHRC said in a statement.

Ghanshyam (28) claimed that the hospital staff put the severed leg under his head as a pillow. He had lost the leg in an accident on Saturday and was brought to the hospital in a critical condition.

As the video of the man lying on a stretcher in the hospital with the severed leg under his head went viral on social and electronic media, Sadhna Kaushik, the medical college's principal, on Sunday said strict action would be taken against those found guilty.

The NHRC has observed that the contents of the reports, if true, amount to an "unethical and negligent act done by the doctors and nurses, which is not only in violation of the medical norms, but also amounts to violation of the right to dignity of the patient, who was already undergoing trauma, due to the amputation of his leg".

Under the Bio Medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules 2016, notified by the government's Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, on March 28, 2016, the severed leg should have been put in a "Yellow Box" meant for amputated human organs, the Commission said.

"Even if any medico-legal aspect was there in this case, it should have been immediately kept in the laboratory. The amputated leg, once detached from the body, could also be a reason for any kind of infection to the patient and others who were present in the hospital ward," it added.