By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, January 12, 2024: The Odisha government has issued an order directing the medical practitioners in the state to write prescriptions in proper legible handwriting or in typed form following a direction of the High Court.

The government also directed medical practitioners to write the medico-legal reports or postmortem reports in capital letters or in typed form or in legible handwriting “to ensure appreciation of evidence in the judicial system.”

The direction is applicable to all medical practitioners in government and private healthcare sectors in the state.

The order was issued by Chief Secretary P K Jena, who said though it has been instructed from time to time to prescribe in legitimate clear handwriting, reflecting generic name, it’s observed that the instruction is not carried out by many medical officers.

While disposing of a petition, the Orissa High Court, in its order on January 4, said, “The casual approach of most of the doctors while writing the postmortem report is affecting the comprehension of medico-legal documents badly and the judicial system finds it very difficult to read those letters and come to a definite conclusion.”

The court has also observed that the tendency of writing in such zig-zag handwriting, which cannot be read by any common man or by judicial officers, has become a fashion among the doctors.

“Substantial number of doctors in the state resort to such handwriting which cannot be read by any ordinary person,” the court said in its order.

Acknowledging the fact that the duty schedules of medical professionals are “very busy and taxing”, the court noted that finding time to write something comfortably often hinders their capacity to examine more patients within the stipulated time.

“It is expected that any doctors, who are dealing with medico-legal issues and writing casually with very poor handwriting, are required to change their attitude and write either in capital letter or in a typed form or in good handwriting so that the judicial system does not suffer from unnecessary fatigue in reading their handwriting,” said the court.

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