Monday, April 10, 2006

Prove-’em-mad, a deeper racket!

Prove-’em-mad, a deeper racket!
Gaurav Saigal
April 9

PSYCHIATRISTS PLAYING foul to mint money and help customers get legal hold over property by proving the owner insane, is just a tip of the iceberg.
There could be many angles to the crazy story, which smells of a deeper nexus than what Wasiha-Amrina case throws up.

This is evident from the fact that the State Mental Health Authority (SMHA), powered to investigate cases of misdeeds by psychiatrists (like the recent Wasiha and Amrina’s case) reports no complaints after 2004!

Sample this. In the recent case of fallacy by a psychiatrist mother and daughter duo Wasiha Khan and Amrina Fatima Khan were victimised. Dr Ashutosh of the Noor Manzil Psychiatry Hospital has been arrested while his senior Dr Hemant Naidu was reported absconding. But, what would make the case strong against offenders is yet to begin. The investigations into the line of treatment given to ladies.

Investigations could only begin when the case would officially be handed over to SMHA by the police.

“There is a hairline difference between a normal person and a mentally ill one and anybody can take advantage in connivance of the doctor to settle scores. Investigation in such offences is dependent and even SMHA’s role comes after a police initiative,” said the honorary secretary of SMHA Dr SC Tiwari.

Perhaps this was evident fact that persuaded the trap for mother and daughter duo Wasiha Khan and Amrina Fatima Khan by their own relative Sahiba. They were forcibly given sedative and admitted to Noor Manzil Psychiatry Hospital as a referral case, the third option for admitting any patient of mental illness.

As per the Mental Health Act 1987, a person may be admitted to a mental hospital or clinic voluntarily or by the order of the court. The third option is that the family members or the relatives ask the doctor to do so if they feel the person is mentally sick and is dangerous. City’s physiatrists when contacted told on anonymity that such cases are rare but they take advantage of the hairline difference in the mental status. However, checking such acts is a difficult task.
“Nothing can be said about Wasiha’s case without proper investigation,” said Dr Tiwari, who heads the Geriatric Mental Health Department at King George’s Medical University.

Dr Harjit Singh of the Department of Psychiatry at KGMU said there was a protocol for psychiatrists to follow before visiting a patient’s house and bringing him to the hospital.

“More so the patient has to be kept under observation for two weeks and then a certificate is issued about his mental health,” he said.
The last case that came to SMHA for investigation in the year 2004 was about general functioning at the Noor Manzil Hospital only.

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