“It is the prerogative of a Doctor to decide the line of Treatment, based on his/her skills”
The Doctors were saved from paying Rs.25 lakhs as compensation on allegations of Medical Negligence for performing unnecessary operations and (the worse) from the allegation of removal of kidney by the National Commission in its recent following judgment in the case of USHA DEVI V/s. E.S.I.C. MODEL HOSPITAL & ANR, BIHAR.
Case of the Complainant :
1. The Complainant got herself admitted for the treatment of piles & pain in abdomen and after some tests she was advised to undergo an operation.
2. The Complainant further alleged that Doctors performed two operations on her, one for removal of gall bladder and another for removal of piles.
3. But in ultrasonography made later, reported no evidence of malignancy in the Gall bladder and hence she alleged Doctors of Medical Negligence and field a case for Rs.25 lakhs for unnecessarily performing gall bladder operation. Her compliant was dismissed in the State Forum and hence the Appeal.
1. The National Commission after reading the complaint, medical record and the expert opinion turned down the allegations of Medical Negligence.
2. From medical Record it revealed that the patient was diagnosed as thrombotic prolapsed piles at 3, 7 and 11 O’ clock powas suffering from sition and in addition patient Pyocele of Gall Bladder with Parietal Abscess and thus she was operated twice, in order to save her life and this fact was corroborated by the Expert Committee too.
3. It has been found that there was no ill intention of the surgeon in this case and both the operations were performed in one sitting as per medical ethics and norms under single anesthesia and no injury resulted to the patient.
4. Medical opinion may differ with regard to the course of action to be taken by a doctor treating a patient, but as long as a doctor acts in a manner which is acceptable to the medical profession, and the Court finds that he has attended on the patient with due care skill and diligence and if the patient still does not survive or suffers a permanent ailment, it would be difficult to hold the doctor to be guilty of negligence. The court noted
“The skill of medical practitioners differs from doctor to doctor. The very nature of the profession is such that there may be more than one course of treatment which may be advisable for treating a patient. Courts would indeed be slow in attributing negligence on the part of a doctor if he has performed his duties to the best of his ability and with due care and caution. Medical opinion may differ with regard to the course of action to be taken by a doctor treating a patient, but as long as a doctor acts in a manner which is acceptable to the medical profession, and the Court finds that he has attended on the patient with due care skill and diligence and if the patient still does not survive or suffers a permanent ailment, it would be difficult to hold the doctor to be guilty of negligence.”
The proper documentation and treatment as per norms and ethics saved the Doctors.. The commission also mentioned that the complainant’s grouse that the Doctors removed kidney also turned to be a false averment. This emphasizes counseling of patients by Doctors. Few good words with patients may save Doctors from agony and pain of Court cases.
Thanks and Regards
(Adv. Rohit Erande)
You can read the full judgement by clicking on the following link:-