He gave the patient medicine to help him sleep and he died; what must he do?
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I am a doctor in the intensive care department. One day I had a patient who was seventy years old; he was having difficulty breathing, his heart muscle was weak and he had had a number of previous strokes. I treated him, and his condition was gradually improving. One day he complained about not being able to sleep, so I gave him some medicine to help him sleep, in a very small dose that would not affect his heart or have any side effects, but unexpectedly he unfortunately passed away approximately half an hour later. I do not know whether the cause was the medicine or something else. What must I do? Please note that I do not know his family or how to reach them, if I have to do that.
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Praise be to Allah
I put this question to our shaykh, ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan al-Barraak (may Allah preserve him) and he said:
Reference should be made concerning that to specialists. The issue should be put to a medical committee, and if they determine that what this doctor did was wrong, then he must offer expiation and pay the diyah (blood money) to the male heirs of the deceased.
But if they say that the doctor did not do anything but what was required of him, and there was no error in what he did, then he does not have to do anything. End quote.
You have to refer this matter to the administration to take the necessary steps to form a specialist committee that can examine the matter, as is usual in such cases.
Please see the answers to questions no. 114047 and 175020
And Allah knows best.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah's Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
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