The ‘Bolam’ test electro convulsive therapy
Mr. Bolam was advised electro convulsive
therapy for mental illness. He was however, not warned of the risks of fractures involved in the treatment. There were two bodies of opinion. One preferred the use of relaxant drugs.
Using relaxants, the patient sustained dislocation of both hip joints with fracture of pelvis. The doctor was not held negligent because he acted in accordance with practice accepted as proper by a responsible body of medical men skilled in that art.
The ‘Bolam’ principle implies that a doctor is not negligent if he acts in accordance with a practice accepted at the time as proper by a responsible body of medical opinion
even though other doctors adopt a different practice, has been accepted by House of Lords as applicable not only
to diagnosis and treatment but also to advice and warning. A doctor is not liable for taking one choice out of two for favouring one school rather than another. He is only liable when he falls below the standard of a reasonable component practitioner in this field, so much so that his conduct may deserve censure.
Alleged removal of testes
In the case of Tarun Kumar Pramanik v. Dr. Kunal Chakraborty & Ors the complainant alleged that during operation for left inguinal hernia his left testis was removed negligently and without consent. On account of this suffered and has become handicapped.
The State Commission on the basis of evidence placed on record, and opinion of expert witness held that the removal of testis was done of expert witness held that the removal of testis was done to avoid gangrenous infection, operation was done with reasonable care and skill and had not resulted in any handicap.
Complainant was held to be vexatious and complainant liable to pay cost of 1st opposite party.
In the case of Jayantilal Govindlal Parmar v. Managing Trustee & Ors, the complainant was operated for gall stones, but subsequently he developed stricture near the bulbous urethra due to which he could not enjoy sex and could not pass urine easily. He ultimately had to be operated at a Urological Hospital for relief and heavy amount had to be spent due to negligent performance of his first operation. The State Commission observed as under and the complaint was dismissed.
“There is absolutely no evidence to establish that there was any negligence on the part of the opponent in performing the operation o July 30, 1992 and that it was a result of such negligence that second operation became necessary on account of negligence in performance of first operation… There is no certificate of the doctor of Urological hospital at Nadiad wherein it is alleged to have been stated that second operation became necessary on account of first operation on record. In absence of nay expert evidence, we cannot hold the opponent guilty of negligence in performance of the first operation. We also do not see any reason to disbelieve the statement made on oath by he opponent who has not been cross-examined. The opponent has stated that he had performed the operation on the complainant carefully and that the complainant had not complained of pain when he was discharge from the hospital and thereafter. There is also some force in the opponent’s submissions that if the complainant was suffering from intense pain as alleged by him, he would not have waited for seven months to consult Dr.
Rajaguru. There is nothing in the documentary evidence place on record which should support the allegations made by the complainant”.
Removal of testes
In the case of Harjivanbhai Khoda Bhai Gohil v. Dr. Yogendra D Shah the complainant was operated for hernia and fistula by the opposite party. It was alleged that during surgery the opposite party removed his left testis along with its blood vessel without consent.
The State Commission held that the case papers of the complainant reflected that the wound had healed well. Also, the consent very clearly mentioned the permission for removal of testis. The operation conducted subsequently by Dr. Parikh was for some other problem and not for nay defect in the surgery conducted by the opposite party. The complainant had also not cared to get expert witness of Dr. Parikh or any other expert witness, through he had enough time and opportunities.
Cost of Rs.5000/- awarded to Dr. Shah (opposite party) for ill-conceived complaint.