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Last updated: 18 May, 2005 - Published 17:59 GMT
 
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AHRC: doctors behaviour ‘irresponsible’
 
A hospital ward
Doctors has argued that the leg had to be amputated to save patient's life
Human rights activist and watchdogs expressed concern of the behaviour of the doctors’ and media for ignoring the victim’s account whose leg was amputated by mistake.

The Hong Kong-based Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) urged the police to take into custody all the documents relating to the matter “before any of these documents disappear or is being damaged”.

A leaflet has been distributed in Negombo against the Right to Life campaign group.

“The leaflet has claimed to be signed by the doctors of the Negombo hospital. It says we arte conspiring against the doctors,” coordinating secretary of Right to Life Philip Dissanayake told BBC Sinhala.

He said the organisation has written to the director of the hospital to verify the issue.

Sitthi Naseera was admitted to the Negombo hospital in late February to treat a boil on the sole of her left foot.

But she was taken to the operating theatre and had had her left leg cut off without her knowledge or consent on March 1.

"I came to know that due to a mix up in the documents my leg was amputated, instead of the person who was waiting with me in the operating theatre," Naseera has said in the affidavit.

The mother-of-six has been pressured, including from two doctors, to withdraw her complaint, the AHRC said in a statement.

AHRC welcomed the police had begun to take action on the matter by recording a statement from the victim on Wednesday morning.

"This is a case of negligence. Neither the woman nor her husband at any point gave their consent to the doctors to cut off her leg," said Bijo Francis, a programmer officer of the AHRC.

"It is sad that the Government Medical Officers Association and some media organisations in Sri Lanka have turned a deaf ear to the victim's complaint and considered that no such mistake was committed," Francis said.

According to the AHRC, the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) argued that the leg had to be amputated to save the life of the patient, who was a diabetic, and that her family agreed to the operation.

"This woman's case should be handled the same way people would expect society to respond when the daughter of a prime minister or the wife of a top business leader has had her leg wrongly amputated."

 
 
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