Bombay HC asks state for stand on colour-blind medical students

Mumbai, Jan 11 (TOI): The Bombay high court on Thursday asked the Maharashtra government and the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) to spell out its stand on allowing students with colour blindness to pursue medical and related courses. A division bench of Chief Justice Naresh Patil and Justice Nitin Jamdar was hearing a petition filed by a nursing student at J J Hospital, whose admission was cancelled after he was found to have a type of colour blindness. Tests had revealed that the student had deuteranomaly, reduced sensitivity to green light.

“This is an issue of vital importance and the state has to clarify what is its stand on admitting students with colour blindness to medical and related courses. The court cannot place the lives of the general public at stake,” said the bench. “Our sympathies are with the student but there can be no compromise with a patient’s health,” said the judges, who asked the authorities to find out if technology or gadgets were available to help students circumvent the condition.

Dr S S Bhatti, professor of Ophthalmology at Grant Medical College, who was called in as an expert, demonstrated the condition to the court, using a mobile phone app. “The impact would be when a medical professional is handling colour coded tablets or instruments while in a surgery,” said Dr Bhatti.

The student had approached the court in 2016, when the college cancelled his admission in his second year after being discovered with colour blindness. In August 2016, the high court, in an interim order, allowed the student to attend classes till a final decision in the matter. The student, who is at present in the fourth and final year of his course, having passed his exams, is now faced with the prospect of not being awarded his degree. His lawyers said he did not suffer from a severe form of colour blindness. The state disputed this and pointed to the medical evaluation which revealed that he had failed in eight out of nine parameters of the colour blindness test.

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Title : Bombay HC asks state for stand on colour-blind medical students


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