Allow Authorities To Probe Alleged Failure Of Duty, Says Medical Assistants’ Group

The Malaysian Association of Medical Assistants tells the Malaysian Medical Association, a doctors’ group, not to take sides, saying that MAs hold an oath to save lives.

KUALA LUMPUR, July 4 – Authorities should be given the space to investigate the recent death of a heart attack victim in Ipoh, Perak, without preconceived notions by other parties, the Malaysian Association of Medical Assistants (MAMA) said.

The group representing medical assistants (MAs), also known as assistant medical officers, told the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA), the largest association of doctors in the country, not to make assumptions about Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital’s (HRPB) ambulance response that allegedly withheld cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) from 43-year-old Kumaraveloo Terpari @ Thirupathy, following his collapse during a traffic jam last April 13 in the Perak state capital.

MMA had called for an independent investigation, saying that the incident, as reported by CodeBlue last June 22, raised concerns about whether paramedics responding to the emergency case had followed proper procedure in providing first responder care.

“As an organisation, it is important that we are not seen to be taking sides that will hurt another party, especially as in this case where the demand is in reference to members of an organisation in a similar (health) care group,” MAMA president Mustafa Abd Majid said in a statement to CodeBlue yesterday.

“It is an accepted norm that we work as a team and for that purpose, we should hold to the principle of understanding and value of the other members’ role, however small it may be, for better outcomes in providing care to our client.

“We hold strong to the values of our professional oath to provide care to relieve pain and save lives and, to that extent, shall carry out our duties and responsibilities conscientiously to the best of our knowledge and abilities (skills), and to always hold on to the principles of good and ethical practices.

“In conclusion, on behalf of the Malaysian Association of Medical Assistants, may I request that in instances of ‘failure of duty’ on the part of members of the health care fraternity, it is only civil that we allow the authorities concerned to carry out investigations and make conclusions as to the degree of failure and or negligence if there is any.”

Kumaraveloo’s family said in a statement last June 29 that they rejected HRPB’s internal inquiry findings that, as informed to them, justified the public hospital MA’s decision to withhold CPR from Kumaraveloo on the basis of a 15-minute cut-off point for the lifesaving intervention. Kumaraveloo died from a heart attack.

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