SR 310,000 fine to the doctor whose mistake caused the death of a Journalist in Dammam

A journalist named Mohammad Dhaifallah Al-Thubaiti was admitted at the King Fahd Specialist Hospital in Dammam. He was to be operated. The operation is reported to be a simple one.  When the operation started, the health of Mohammad Dhaifallah Al-Thubaiti was stable.  However, soon he reported that he was feeling suffocated. On his complaint and considering his health condition the doctors installed an oxygen tube. The journalist went short of oxygen and as a result died. The incident took place on March 2015 at King Fahd Specialist Hospital located in Dammam. The death has been attributed to the medical error practiced by the doctor-in-charge.[irp]

When the patient felt, suffocated and needed oxygen: the doctors did install the oxygen tube into his mouth. Yet it wasn’t installed properly which caused a heart attack followed by the death of the journalist. The family is in a terrible shock on the sudden departure of Mohammad Dhaifallah Al-Thubaiti. As the death has been caused by a medical error and is not a natural one, therefore the family wants its compensation. Shariah Medical Commission had taken notice of the sad incident and investigated it. Their investigation had revealed that Mohammad Dhaifallah Al-Thubaiti death had been caused by medical error.

The doctor had not practiced proper installment of the oxygen tube which caused a shortage of blood flow to the brain and eventually caused the death followed by a heart attack. This has been revealed by the Lawyer Humoud Al-Khaldi. Thereby the Shariah Medical Commission had charged the doctor with a fine valuing SR 10, 000. The Doctor is obliged to pay an additional SR 300,000 as a blood money. According to the lawyer Humoud Al-Khaldi, the doctor is liable to pay SR 300, 000 to the family of the late journalist as the blood money because the death is not of the natural incident.

The doctor shall pay a fine which values SR 10,000 as a penalty for performing a death causing a medical error. Al-Khaldi declared that the fine shall be going to the nation’s treasury as it has been collected in violation of rights of a citizen of The Kingdom. This is, however, an initial sentence declared by the Shariah Medical Commission. The sentence can be challenged or the appeals can be made within 60 days.[irp]

Doctors have a huge responsibility on their shoulders when it comes to treatment. Even though it was the fate of Mohammad Dhaifallah Al-Thubaiti to have a death like this yet we cannot leave everything on fate. We need to stand up for the rights of every citizen. If today we are unable to charge this very doctor for his crime, we will be stepping towards a society where violating rights won’t be a big deal. If this doctor is charged, it will alert every single doctor to be careful next time, to give proper treatment to patients and to be vigilant.

Source: Saudi Gazette