Retired HC judge falls to death in National Hospital | Daily News


Son alleges hospital staff negligence

Retired HC judge falls to death in National Hospital

The Colombo Municipal Coroner has summoned the chief nurse of a premium ward of the National Hospital, Colombo, to further probe whether the death of a retired High Court judge from a fall from the 5th floor was due to natural causes or suicide.

The late Justice’s only son, a medical doctor, has claimed at the Coroner’s inquiry that his father’s death may have been due to failure by the ward staff to adequately treat him or to monitor him.

Former High Court Judge Sirisena Kadawathaarachchi (88 yrs), who was warded at the Bandaranaike Memorial Ward situated on the Colombo National Hospital’s 5th floor, died after falling onto the lower floor of the hospital building.

Municipal Coroner Mrs. Iresha Deshani Samaraweera, who held the inquiry into the death, issued notice on the chief nurse in charge of the ward to appear in the Coroner’s Court on July 13 to ascertain whether the death was due to natural causes or suicide. Sirisena Kadawathaarachchi who was a resident of the Elvitigala Flats, Colombo, was father of one child.

His son Dr. Thusitha Sampath Deeshana Kadawathaarachchi (45 yrs), testifying at the inquiry, said if his father had experienced any mental instability so as to attempt suicide, the doctors and the hospital staff may have not treated him properly to help him get over such a condition. He requested that a full scale investigation be made to ascertain the cause of death and whether doctors and other staff were directly or indirectly responsible for his death and ensure that justice is done.

Colombo JMO Dr. S.D. Channa Perera who held the post mortem examination reported that death was due to multiple injuries caused to the body.

Dr. Kadawatharaachchi said in further testimony that his father suffered from cardiac, blood sugar and kidney problems. He was transferred to the Colombo National Hospital after treatment at a private hospital.He said he found accommodation in a first class ward at the request of his father. But later as the doctor in charge said he could visit the patient only once a day he later got him transferred to another normal paying word.

He also contracted a special attendant to stay with his father. On July 5 around 9 a.m he got a call form the ward saying his father was missing. He said there seemed to be a dereliction of duty on the part of ward staff to keep watch on his father.

He also alleged that there was lack of proper attention towards his father to help him overcome his mental conditoon. For instance the hospital staff even failed to change the catheter regularly despite his repeated appeals.

The special attendant Kapila Kumara Indika (40) also testified at the inquiry.

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