New Delhi: The apex consumer commission has asked the Apollo Hospital in Hyderabad and one of its doctors to pay Rs four lakh as compensation to a man who lost his wife due to alleged medical negligence.
The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), while dismissing an appeal filed by the hospital against the state commission’s order, directed it to pay the amount to Telangana resident K S Sastry whose wife died during a complicated medical procedure.
The Commission also noted that the hospital authorities failed to take the consent of the patient and her family before a surgery, which was a high risk procedure, that deteriorated her health, resulting in her death.
“… The OP (Hospital and the doctor) failed to take informed consent. As per medical record, the patient was not willing to undergo such high risk procedure… Similarly the progress sheet reveals ‘patient and her husband not willing for surgery immediately’. Thus, in our view, in the instant case it was not an informed consent,” the NCDRC bench said.
“We are of the considered view that it was a case of medical negligence due to failure of duty of care. It was not a reasonable practice. Therefore, we do not find any error in the well reasoned order of the state commission,” it added.
According to the complaint filed by Sastry, his wife Padmavati was suffering from upper abdominal pain and consulted the doctor at the Apollo hospital in 2000. It was alleged that antibiotics were prescribed by the doctor without conducting any pre-operative tests.
The complaint further alleged that the doctors advised for gall bladder surgery and the patient was taken for Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangad Pancreotography (ERCP) without her or her husband’s consent.
It further alleged that she suffered cardiac arrest during the procedure.
It also said that in spite of repeated requests that she was already suffering from a lung disease and was under treatment with steroids, the doctor directly performed for ERCP in a negligent manner without conducting necessary tests.
The hospital and the doctor denied the allegations saying all the necessary precautions were taken with utmost care.
They also contended that the complainant was covered under Central Government Health Service Scheme, therefore, he is not entitled for compensation.
However, the state commission asked the hospital and the doctor to pay the amount to Sastry.