New Delhi: In a major relief to a neurosurgeon, who had been accused of medical negligence leading to death of a woman who was suffering from a brain tumour., the Delhi High Court has dismissed a plea against the doctor
Justice Vibhu Bakhru said the issue of whether there was any negligence on the doctor’s part is to be assessed by the medical practitioner and unless it is shown that there was any flaw in the decision-making process or there was malafide, no interference by the court would be warranted.
“… this court finds no merit in the present petition and the same is dismissed,” the court said.
The court was hearing a plea by a man, whose wife was being treated by Dr S K Sogani, a neurosurgeon, for a meningioma/ brain tumour and she died in May 2011, after her third operation.
The man had alleged in the plea that the doctor was negligent in treating his wife and he had operated upon her thrice from November 2003 to May 2011.
It was alleged that the doctor conducted the operation on May 7,2011, without a prior MRI scan and it was an act of negligence.
He initially filed a complaint before Delhi Medical Council (DMC) which passed the order that no case of medical negligence had been made out against the doctor in treating the woman as she died due to “the known complications associated with surgery of such nature”.
This was challenged by him before the Medical Council of India (MCI) which disposed of the plea by approving the finding of its Ethics Committee that there was no medical negligence.
The man then approached the high court against the MCI’s order.
The MCI was represented through advocate T Singhdev who countered the submissions made by the man.
The court noted that proceedings before DMC or MCI regarding medical negligence are in nature of peer review and a judicial review on the merits of the decision is not available, except on limited grounds, where it is found to be such that no reasonable person could possibly have arrived at this decision.
“It is clear from the above that neither any separate legal opinion was sought by the Executive Committee nor was any such legal opinion tendered. However, an expert was included as a part of the Executive Committee, which had deliberated on the complaint filed by the petitioner (man).
“As observed above, the examination of the complaint by DMC is in the nature of peer review, and in conformity with this nature, an expert in neurosurgery was included as a part of the concerned committee,” it said.