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AIIMS Fined Rs 5 Lakhs for Negligence

by Himabindu Venkatakrishnan on  July 20, 2007 at 4:13 PM Hospital News   - G J E 4
AIIMS Fined Rs 5 Lakhs for Negligence
A case of medical negligence has been registered against the premier institute of medicine AIIMS and has been asked to pay a fine of Rs five lakhs by the State Consumer Commission.
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All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) is guilty of wrongly diagnosing a woman as cancer patient and removing her breast as a part of treatment, nine years ago.

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The Commission Bench headed by Justice J D Kapoor held the hospital guilty of causing "depression, inferiority complex and permanent disfigurement" to 50-year-old Ayesha Begum who underwent surgery after the doctors wrongly concluded that she was suffering from breast cancer.

Ayesha Begum (50), a resident of Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh, was referred to AIIMS in 1998 by a local doctor there after he suspected that she may be was suffering from carcinoma of breast. She was subjected to radio-therapy and thereafter, was rendered physically handicapped due to the medication which was not required at all.

"Not only was the diagnosis wrong, the examination of the complainant was not proper. It is not a case of an error of judgment. It is a case of either negligence or incompetence of AIIMS doctors, as a result of which she underwent surgery and radio therapy," said State Consumer Commission president Justice J D Kapoor, holding the premier medical institute guilty of carelessness.

"Giving concession to the pitfalls in the procedure of detecting cancer (through the technique adopted by doctors) ... we find that the negligence of AIIMS was limited to the extent of wrong diagnosis that resulted in very serious consequences that the right breast and arm pit of the complainant were removed," said Justice Kapoor and Commission member Mahesh Chandra.

"We deem that a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the mental agony, trauma, emotional suffering and disfigurement of her body causing immense life-long loss of conjugal bliss, shall meet the ends of justice," said Justice Kapoor.

The Commission rejected AIIMS' plea that the patient had consented for undergoing the treatment. "Merely because the complainant consented, does not absolve the hospital from the charge of medical negligence," said Justice Kapoor.

Source: Medindia
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