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Can a person with the visual impairment become a doctor?

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Dr KK Aggarwal & Ms Ira Gupta    19 June 2018

Hon’ble Vacation Bench comprising of Justice UU Lalit and Justice Deepak Gupta wondered whether it would be feasible to allow a person with the visual impairment to become a doctor and treat the patients.

Bench issued the notices to Centre and Gujarat Government on a plea filed by a student suffering from ‘low vision’, who has cleared NEET 2018 undergraduate examination, seeking a direction for issuance of the Disability Certificate as per the law so that he could take admission in MBBS course.

The Bench stated that “If you talk about any other profession like legal or teaching, it can be understood that even a blind person can successfully pursue the career. As far as MBBS is concerned, we have to see, how much it is feasible and possible”.

Recalling his personal experience with an intern who was blind, Justice Lalit stated that he had difficulties in reading documents and used to convert the digital documents into the brail form, for reading and understanding them. Justice Lalit stated that, “After successfully completing his internship with me, he has now become a Rhodes Scholar studying at the University of Oxford”.

Senior Advocate Sanjay Hegde and Advocate Govind Jee, appearing for the minor student Purswani Ashutosh through a doctor stated that there was already a provision for reservation of five percent seats of total intake capacity in the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.

He submitted that a direction should be issued to the Centre and Gujarat Government for implementing the reservation scheme for the persons with the benchmark disability as mandated by provisions of the Act and issuance of the certificate of disability.

To this, Justice Lalit replied that he had studied law from a Government Law College and a professor who taught him Company law was blind but he remembered everything by heart.

He further added that, “So in teaching or legal profession, there is no problem but when it comes to medical education, can a person with a disability of low vision be allowed. This we have to see”.

Student, in his petition, has claimed that he had appeared for NEET UG examination 2018 under the physically handicapped category and has scored all India rank of 4,68,982 and category Physically Handicapped rank as 419 and stated that he has fair chance of getting a seat in medical/dental colleges in All India Quota/ the State Government Medical Colleges under the special category.

He has sought urgent disposal of his matter as Counselling process for the admissions in MBBS course is going on.

In the meantime, the petitioner shall present himself before the Committee of B. J. Medical College, Ahmedabad within three days from today, with a copy of this order.

The petitioner shall be medically examined and the appropriate medical certification regarding the claim of the petitioner that he suffers from “low vision” shall be transmitted to the Registry of this Court within four days therefrom.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court had on September 24, 2017, opened the doors for color-blind students to pursue MBBS course by ordering admission of two such candidates, who had scored high marks in the entrance examination.

(Source: Latestlaw.com)

Dr KK Aggarwal

Padma Shri Awardee

Vice President CMAAO

Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications

President Heart Care Foundation of India

Immediate Past National President IMA

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