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Consumer Protection Act and Medical Profession

Land Mark - Related Cases

1. The complainant alleged that her husband died due to the complications arising after kidney biopsy. The State Commission held that the complainant had suppressed the crucial facts in her complaint. Besides serious life threatening diseases, the deceased was already suffering from tuberculosis and staphylococcus aureus septicaemia (a serious infection of the blood by bacteria). These are very serious diseases with a very high mortality rate especially when the heart, lung and brain get infected. Hence, the complainant had not come with clean hands and thus disentitled herself to relief under this jurisdiction of the C.P. Act. Complaint dismissed with Rs. 1,500/- as costs (SUBH LATA v. CHRISTIAN MEDICAL COLLEGE (Punjab SCDRC O.C. No. 14 of 1994 decided on 15.6.1994; 1994 (2) CPR 691; 1995 (1) CPJ 365; 1995 CCJ 512

2. The complainantís 18-year-old son was suffering from chronic renal failure and was advised renal transplantation. He was admitted in the hospital and dialysis was done for which a venous catheter was introduced in the right thigh and kept in situ (same position of the body) as he would require frequent dialysis. But due to lack of proper care like frequent dressing and medical attention, this site developed pus formation leading to A.V. Fistula, which resulted in gangrene of the right leg. In order to save the life of the patient, amputation of the leg was necessary. The patient died after 20 days. The opposite did not appear in the State Commission. The case was decided in favour of the complainant on the basis of the affidavits filed by the complainant and another experienced doctor who testified in favour of the complainant. A compensation of Rs. 2,00,000/- with Rs. 1,000/- as costs to be paid by the opposite party within 30 days from the receipt of this letter, failing which the amount shall carry interest at the rate of 18% per annum till realization. SHIVAJI GENDEO CHAVAN v. CHIEF DIRECTOR, WANLESS HOSPITAL & Anr. (Maharashtra SCDRC Complaint No. 451 of 1993 3.12.1994 (3) CPJ 43)

3. The complainant was operated for gallstones but subsequently he developed structure near the bulbous urethra due to which he could 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 art of the opponent in performing the operation on July 30,1992 and that it was a result of such negligence that second operation became necessary. First operation was on account of multiple gallstones whereas the second operation became operation became necessary. First operation was on account of small strictures near bulbous urethra. Connection between the two operations has not been established. In other words, it is not proved that the second operation became necessary on account of negligence in the performance of the first operation. There is no certificate of the doctor of the urological hospital at Nadiad wherein it is alleged to have been stated that the second operation became necessary on account of the first operation on record. In the absence of any expert evidence, we cannot hold the opponent who has stated that he had performed the operation on the complainant carefully and that the complainant had not complained of pain when he was discharged from the hospital and thereafter. There is also some force in the opponentís 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. Rajguru. There is nothing in the documentary evidence placed on record, which would support the allegations made by the complainant. The complaint dismissed without costs. JAYANTILAL GOVINDALAL PARMAR v. MANAGING TRUSTEE & Ors. (1997 (1) CPJ 295:1997 (2) CPR 9 (Gujarat SCDRC)

4. The complainant was admitted in a private hospital for pain in the neck on the right shoulder. Investigations reveled that he was a diabetic and had right hydronephrosis with obstruction at right uretrovesical junction. The complainant underwent surgery by retroperitoneal approach. The affected portion of the ureter was removed and uretric reimplantation was done. During the postoperative period, the complainant developed high fever and further investigations showed that a stapler pin was seen in the gastrointestinal tract. The complainant got discharged against medical advice. The allegation was that the pin was left there during the operation. The surgeon stated that the surgical staplers are V or U shaped and used in clusters in surgeries involving large intestine. The stapler pin seen in the x-ray is not a stapler pin. It resembles the stapler pins used un food pockets. Evidently, this stapler pin should have been swallowed. The State Commission held that there is no negligence or deficiency of service on the part of the hospital and dismissed the complaint without costs. C.J. LAWRENCE v. APOLLO HOSPITALS (Tamilnadu SCDRC O.P. No. 8/94 Decided on 05.08.1998).

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