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No Guarantee in Medical Treatment- NCDRC

No Guarantee in Medical Treatment- NCDRC


This judgment reminds me a line which I read in a Doctor’s clinic
“I treat, he (almighty) cures” –

Judgment dated 21/01/2016, in the case of M. SARALA, Chennai V/s. SUNDARAM MEDICAL FOUNDATION & ANR, observed this.
N.C. further held that , ” No action may be maintained against any health care provider, upon any guarantee, warranty or assurance as to the result of any medical, surgical or diagnostic procedure or treatment, unless the guarantee, warranty or assurance, or some note or memorandum thereof, shall be in writing, and signed by the provider or by some other person, authorized to act for or on behalf of such provider.”
The Facts in nutshell :

The Complainant’s right index finger, got cut during use of washing machine and she rushed @ about 12.30 pm. to the Hospital alognwith her amputated finger in plastic zipper bag. The Complainant alleged that the Plastic surgeon could arrive only by 6 pm and she was taken to the O.T. by 6.45. PM with assurance of full recovery. However as Golden hour treatment could not be provided and there was no proper treatment and thus the finger could not be reunited and therefore her finger had to be amputed which caused her 13% of permanent disability and therefore she filed the Complaint for damages of Rs. 33,48,000/-. however, she lost District as well as in state commission and hence National Commission was approached.

Held that :
The National commission after going through the record, relied upon the contention of Hospital that treatment was given as per Std. protocol between six to twenty four hours; which is within permissible limit for re-implantation and amputated part was also well preserved.considered view that the right index finger was completely amputated, separated, due to crush avulsion injury. The plastic surgeon tried for the microvascular surgery for re-union after diagnosis was correct that“total amputation and disarticulation of right index finger at the level of PIP joint” It was also found that fingertip was not viable. The notes also reveald that the patient left hospital, without informing doctor, nurse or any of the hospital personnel and had to amupte her Finger due to Gangrene in some Govt. Hospital.
The commission relied on the findings of Apex Court in the case of Martin F. D’Souza Vs. Mohd. Ishfaq, AIR 2009 SC 2049, wherein the Apex Court held as under:

A medical practitioner is not liable to be held negligent simply because things went wrong from mischance or misadventure or through an error of judgment in choosing one reasonable course of treatment in preference to another. He would be liable only where his conduct feel below that of the standards of a reasonably competent practitioner in his field”

This judgment throws light on the fact that any professional much less a Doctor will guarantee the 100% result in favour of the client/patient. What he/she can and must do is all out efforts with the knowledge and experience which one has. No Star & Moon promises..

thanks and regards

Adv. Rohit Erande

You can read the full judgement here

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the above article are solely those of the author/agency in his/her private capacity and do not represent the views of Medical Dialogues.
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