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Kugan's death: ministry's report suspicious

I refer to the Malaysiakini report Blunt force trauma did not cause Kugan's death and the letter Prostitution of Malaysian Medical Council .

The 10-man committee formed to investigate the ‘differences in post-mortem reports of A Kugan has unanimously concluded that there was no evidence of thermal injuries to the skin on the back of the deceased as reported in the second post-mortem.

Furthermore, Health Ministry Director-General Dr Ismail Merican claimed that ‘all body injuries noted on the deceased were insufficient, either individually or collectively to cause death directly’.

Firstly, on what basis did the committee perform their task, considering that the two post-mortem reports were diametrically opposed to each other? It was one report against the other and the body was already cremated. And yet without doing another autopsy, how can this committee make a conclusion on the cause of death?

The second autopsy report had concluded that the first report was erroneous and did not state the correct cause of death, but the committee overruled this report in favour of the first. On what basis was this call made?

It is an insult to the Malaysian public’s intelligence to have a sham 10-man committee formed just to exonerate the guilty who have senselessly murdered a 22-year-old.

I am appalled at Merican’s cheek to state that blunt force trauma could have led to acute renal failure which aggravated acute myocarditis, resulting in acute pulmonary oedema and then in the next sentence claim that death was not ‘directly’ caused by body injuries.

Without further examination of the body, the committee overruled the cause of death stated by the second report. Even ignoring this, he essentially says that Kugan was beaten repeatedly to the extent of causing his kidneys to fail which then caused his death and yet claims that the death was not a ‘direct’ result of the injuries.

I ask Merican this: ‘You said that blunt force trauma cased acute renal failure. Isn’t this by itself a life threatening situation? A person with acute renal failure inevitably dies. And according to the doctor who performed the second autopsy, this was indeed what happened.

How on earth can you make the claim that death was not caused directly by injuries?’

Are you playing with semantics here? This is a person’s life we are talking about. If kidney failure and pulmonary oedema resulted from the blunt force trauma, does that make the death ‘indirect’ and as a result exonerate the police from the crime of their deed?

If one were to cut off a person’s hand and the person dies of bleeding, would we say that he died from lack of blood in his heart and he did not die directly from the injury but another indirect cause? Plainly put, this is clear nonsense.

Merican, it is evident from your semantic play of words and unconvincing overruling of the second postmortem without valid reason that you and your 10-man committee are acting to protect the interests of those who walk in the corridors of power.

You are clearly acting under fear of those higher up. You have lost all moral authority that the Hippocratic oath had bestowed upon the noble profession of a doctor.

I challenge the new Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to walk the talk and bring transparency and accountability to our public service and bring those involved in this vile crime to justice.

If not, this will count as the first failure of your administration, the first nail in the coffin.