Jammu: In a recent order passed by the Consumer forum, the court came down heavily on two medical practitioners as well as their scanning centre. The consumer forum asked the doctor couple to pay compensation of Rs 36 lakhs to the complainants on account of missing a diagnosis of fetal deformity in time, besides being guilty of carrying out ultrasound without expertise as per MCI norms.
The case concerns a lady who visited a Udhampur based nursing home having an ultrasound centre during her pregnancy, which was run by the doctor couple. After every test, she was handed over reports which explained that the foetus was developing normally.
Later the child was diagnosed suffering from a brain-related disease after which the parents of the child approached the consumer forum against the two doctors,pointing out that because of the deformity being missed, the mother also did not undergo termination, and as at a belated stage, termination of her pregnancy was not advisable nor permissible, so she had to give birth to an abnormal child who needs nursing and attention round the clock and the process is a lifelong process, quotes the Indian Express.
The complainant informed that experts and qualified radiologists were consulted in this regard and the experts confirmed that the foetus in the womb suffered with “hydrocephalous disease” (cavities in brain), and that it could have been detected earlier if the sonographers/sinologists were experienced and suitably qualified.
The Consumer Court went through the case and sought the opinion of a qualified and renowned radiologist Dr Manisha Langer.
Dr Langer told the commission that myelo meningocele can be detected by ultrasound within 15 to 16 weeks of pregnancy. The detection rate improves after 24 to 25 weeks. However, this was not so in the current case
The two-member bench of the Consumer Commission also went through the allegation made on the ultrasound scanning centre and nursing home that mentioned that it was being run “without adequate qualification, expertise and recognition from Medical Council of India”.
Based on the merits of the case, the commission passed an order directing two doctors to collectively pay compensation of Rs 36 lakh.
The commission awarded Rs 20 lakh compensation to the couple for medical treatment, Rs 15 lakh out of the money shall be kept in a fixed deposit for the child. Another Rs 15 lakh was given as compensation on account of pain and suffering undergone by the parents, and Rs 1 lakh as litigation charges.