‘US doc recommended life-saving cardiac surgery; Jaya agreed’

Dr Samin Sharma from the US had examined her in the hospital on November 25, 2016, analysed her case records and discussed with the late chief minister herself when she was conscious.
Former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa
Former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa

CHENNAI: A panel that probed the circumstances leading to former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's death in 2016 indicted V K Sasikala, the confidante of the late leader, and the Tamil Nadu government on Tuesday said it would initiate action after getting legal opinion.

Accordingly, Jayalalithaa was recommended life-saving cardiac surgery by a renowned surgeon from the US.

Dr Samin Sharma from the US had examined her in the hospital on November 25, 2016, analysed her case records and discussed with the late chief minister herself when she was conscious.

The Commission of Inquiry, based on evidence and witness, concluded that she gave consent to the course of treatment proposed.

The US doctor was of the opinion that the late chief minister had to necessarily undergo a life-saving surgery in view of the vegetation that had developed in her heart.

The commission, which opined that Jayalalithaa, an astute lady, would have heeded to the cardiac surgery, said that the decision was reversed based on the opinion of Dr Richard Beale from the UK, a decision to which Sasikala alone was a privy.

The report summarised that those with decision-making powers had erred by not proceeding with the surgery, which, in the opinion of the US doctor, could have had the effect of saving her life.

Therefore, the commission said it concluded that the hospital doctor "played a trick" to bypass performance of angiography to convince "some power centre," and the intensivist gave an opinion that surgery can be postponed.

Alleging that the decision to not proceed with the surgery is in direct conflict with the earlier opinion of Dr Richard Baele, the report revealed that Dr Samin Sharma from the US was brought by unnamed relatives of Sasikala.

“What transpired in the interregnum is not within the realm of conjectures. But, the reasonable and irresistible inference to be drawn from the attendant circumstances is that the reversal decision must have been engineered by Sasikala, who alone had the strategic advantage of influencing the decision,” it mentioned.

The government said that considering the CoI's disagreement on certain aspects vis-a-vis the AIIMS doctors committee's report, "it was decided to initiate appropriate action" against "certain individuals," after obtaining the opinion of legal experts. This is in view of the CoI's recommendations in its report.

Condition of Jayalalithaa

On analysing the evidence and materials placed before the commission, the late chief minister was suffering from obesity, hypertension, poorly-controlled diabetes, hypothyroidism, irritable bowel syndrome with chronic diarrhoea and chronic seasonal bronchitis. She had high fever in the last three days preceding her hospitalisation, for which she took paracetamol tablets.

Shortly after admission, she developed sepsis on account of urinary infection (Enterococcus Faecalis). Doctors had diagnosed that she had two vegetations in her heart and perforation resulting in regurgitation.

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