Consumer Protection Act and Medical Profession - Interesting Cases

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Interesting Cases

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.

Stricture urethra

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.

Prostate biopsy

In the case of Pyare Lal Verma v. Dr. A.K. Gupta & Ors. The complainant, aged 72 years was advised surgery enlarged prostate by the opposite party. He was referred to Dr. Neeraj Nagpal, MD to opine about fitness to undergo surgery, who however, after necessary tests opined that there was no active contraindication for TUR surgery. After surgery, the prostate gland pieces removed were sent for biopsy report to Dr. Mrs. B.K. Aikat, who stated that there was benign hyperplasia of the prostate and no malignancy was seen. Subsequently, the complainant developed complications and after 6 months during review of the biopsy slides at the PGI it was discovered that the prostate was cancerous.

The Commission held that there is nothing whatsoever to indicate Dr. Nagpal’s pre-operative opinion was palpably wrong or patently negligent. It was also conceded before the Commission that there inevitably would be chemical changes in the slides by the mere passage of time and dependent on the manner and method by which they were preserved, if at all. The Commission also held that a variation of exert medical opinion cannot be labeled as negligence.

Amputation of penis

In the case of C. Sivakumat v. Dr. Jalin Arthur & Anr the complainant, a 23 years old boy approached Dr. John for blockage in passage or urine (phimotic penis) who took him another clinic for operation. After the operation there was over-bleeding from the penis and ultimately he had to admitted to Jipmer Hospital. The hospital authorities reported the matter to the police. Here he came to know that his penis had been cut off (amputated) and only a small stump had been left, and he was passing urine only through an artificial hole made at Jipmer Hospital. He, in the process, had become permanently impotent.

Compensation of Rs.8lakhs was awarded to be paid by the first opposite party.

Torsion Testis

Negligence in diagnosis and treatment of a case of torsion testis as ‘orchitis leading to gangrene of the testis. The commission held that mistaking torsion for orchitis in itself does not constitute negligence because the symptoms of the two mimic each other. There was also evidence that the patient was suffering from the disease for 4 to 5 days prior to admission and as such performing surgery would still not have save the testis. The complaint was dismissed.

Chronic Renal Failure

Alleged negligence in a case of chronic renal failure requiring kidney transplantation who has infection in thigh at the site of veinflon insertion through which dialysis was repeatedly being performed. There was an arteriovenous fistula formation and gangrene leading to amputation of the leg and later death. The opposite did not appear in court. Allegations made by the complainant were duly supported by the sworn affidavit of the expert witness Dr. Prakash Tathed who has an extensive experience in this field. A compensation of Rupees two lakhs was allowed.

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Kapil999 

I was appointed to run a clinic from a hospital facility. The management one day suddenly closed the premises, with all my belongings trapped inside, without giving me any notice. The treatment of many patients was under way and they feel lost. I have complained to police for cognizable offences and also written to the state medical bodies highlighting the manner in which the premises was shut down in my absence. Are any clauses of medical act violated in this sudden and unannounced closure of a medical facility? Dr K G

Rajeev2009 

I have booked two tickets under PNR no. 4408538575, for travelling from bangalore to delhi by 12213 duranto express on 27-06-2015. But on 23-06-2015 i have received a message regarding cancellation of train, then i called railway enquiry no. 139 in this regard and they told that train cancellation can only be confirmed on 27-06-2015 morning and also advised that i have not to cancel the ticket now but after departure time of the train i have to file the TDR online through irctc website. But when i open the site next day the ticket cancellation option said that it is too late too be cancelled and TDR option said that TDR can only be filled after charting and departure. So I could not cancel my tickets and contact the irctc helpline 011- 39340000 and they told to send an email in this regard on [email protected] and they issue me a Ticket No. 1686501, But they also refused the return on 12/07/2015 by saying that I have filled the TDR very late on 03/07/2015, which had to be filled within 72 hours of train departure time. As I have said earlier wihen I make cancellation of ticket irctc website refuse it and when I file TDR irctc site told that TDR can only be file after charting done and departure of train, no other method is describe there. The method of sending email is only come to know by me when I contacted irctc helpline. This is duty of Railway and Irctc to let the passenger know about the refund procedure in case of cancellation of train. So I want back all my money which is Rs.5636.17/- as train is cancelled by railway itself.

abhi0786 

I need suggestion regarding the doctors bill. Doctor is giving me bill for 17000 for 3 day for my wife's treatment. She was not admitted to the clinic, just for three days doctor given her 2 bottle of saline everyday. Doctor is having clinic not the hospital. Can you suggest what can i do?

chit123 

I want to complain against shiv medicos in H block ashok vihar for not giving proper bills for medicines purchased and also not verifying or asking for any prescription and seselling medicines without prescriptions...

nagercoil123 

This letter is with reference to the wrong or unwanted medical procedure and hiding the truth regarding my health. Dr. S.Selvamani, Senior Consultant and Interventional cardiologist [ Reg. No: 36009] done procedures like TPI CAG Successful PTCA with BVS (Bio Resorbable Vascular Scaffold) to RCA done on 18-19-2013. I was discharged on 28/09/2013 with the discharge summary as General Condition is GOOD and I thought that I had a single vessel block and that it was cleared by PTCA method and I can continue a normal life. After Discharge,( since the hospital is around 250 Km away from my home town ) I went to another cardiologist in my home town , He took ECHO and stated the extra points like Dialated LA/LV , Grade 3 Diastolic Dysfunction , Moderate PAH , Sclerotic aortic value and minimal effusion behind inferolateral wall , moderate to severe MR, posteriorly directed wall hugging jet ( MR dp/dt 982) and the Global EF is 33 % although Meenakshi Mission Hospital and Research Centre, Madurai took ECHO they didn't reveled the above points in their discharge sheet and the cardiologist Dr.S.Selvamani ,didn't prescribed the medicines which will improve the EF % . Now I am taking T.Planeb, T.Cardarone and T. Cardace to improve the condition of the heart prescribed by an another cardiologist to improve the pumping capacity of the heart, which was failed by Dr. S. Selvamani. So I suspect that Dr. S. Selvamani didn't diagnosed or gave importance to the pumping capacity of my heart and he did wrong or unwanted procedure like PTCA and temporary pace maker installation. Dr. S. Selvamani, procedures makes me to spend around Rs.4,50,000 ( Rupees Four lacs and fifty Thousand ) at Meenakshi Mission Hospital and Research Centre, Madurai and now I am spending more money on review and other lab and ECHO procedures to improve the EF% of my heart. I strongly believe that I have been treated wrong / unwanted procedures at Meenakshi Mission Hospital and Research Centre, Madurai by Dr. S.Selvamani. I am ready to submit any medical documents and willing to go any more procedures to prove that I had been treated at Meenakshi Mission Hospital and Research Centre, Madurai in unwanted or neglected medical procedures.

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