KUALA LUMPUR – The Malaysian Medical Association(MMA) hopes that the doctor who allegedly failed to report injuries sustained by the National Defense University of Malaysia student, Zulfarhan Osman Zulkarnain prior to his death to the authority would be given a fair hearing from the Health Ministry.
Its president Dr Ravindran R Naidu explained that what the doctor saw at the time of the patients’s visit might have been very differrent from what was seen at the post-mortem.
“The minister (Health Minister), as a practising doctor and clinician will of course know that the attending doctor’s impressions and observations at the time he saw the patient must be given weight.
“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,” he said in a statement, here, today.
Zulfarhan Osman, 21, died at the Serdang Hospital on June 1 after allegedly being tortured by some colleagues, reportedly over the theft of a laptop.
Yesterday, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said that the ministry would call the doctor from a private clinic who was reported to have treated the Navy cadet, for an explanation following the doctor’s failure to report injuries sustained by the victim to the police.
Ravindran said, as responsible doctors, obeying the law was a wish for every single one of them.
“If 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.
“Of course, medical confidentiality is very important, so the suspicion would have to be very strong for us to breach it in even a very limited way,” he said.
Ravindran also extended the association’s hopes for the ministry to come out with a guidelines to ensure that such incidents do not recur, adding that the association also wished the Higher Education Ministry to be similarly proactive in investigating how such profound brutality went undetected. – BERNAMA