The State Consumer Commission has declared the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) guilty of ''gross medical negligence''. The commission has ordered the institute to dish out a compensation of Rs 1-lakh to the legal heirs of a patient who after undergoing an operation there, lost his voice.
J S Bedi, a Chandigarh-based doctor, lost his speech six year ago. This was after AIIMS doctors made a sad mess out of a surgery meant to remove a tumor. The doctors failed to recognize the damage to Bedi's speech faculties. By the time the commission pronounced the verdict, Bedim had passed away. The money will now go to his legal heirs.
According to Justice J D Kapoor who presided over the commission, the medical reports had established the slackness of AIIMS' doctors.
Bedi was operated upon on August 22, 2001 for the removal of a tumor. Yet, alleges the complaint, after the surgery, he was rendered unable to speak.
Dismissing this observation as 'usual', the doctor who conducted the surgery assured Bedi that he would regain his voice after a few days.
Yet in a subsequent test, it was found that a nerve was cut during the surgery. Post-operative negligence in treating this led to a paralysis of diaphragm, Bedi claimed during the proceedings.
Bedi then approached the commission, seeking damages from AIIMS. Agreeing with Bedi's plea, the commission was reported: ''The hospital was deficient first in cutting his left phrenic nerve negligently while excising thyma mass as this could have been avoided.''
It was also found that the doctor was being negligent in leaving the nerve without stimulating or suturing its end, which caused paralysis of the diaphragm and the nerve.
As AIIMS pleaded that its doctors had done the operation strictly in consonance with the medical practice, the judge quashing its plea was quoted: ''Anything done by a doctor, which should not have been done by an skilled doctor, amounts to medical negligence.''