Surgery with Blank Consent Form: Hospital told to pay Rs 1 lakh
Ahmedabad: Observing that the consent form was completely blank, and the hospital did not provide the medical case papers to the patient's family until being sued, the Gujarat State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has held the facility guilty of negligence and deficiency in service.
Thus, the consumer court has directed the Ahmedabad-based hospital to pay Rs 1 lakh to the complainant, the widow of a patient, who was operated upon at the hospital for the removal of a tumour from his abdomen.
The case goes back to 2006, when the patient hailing from Jaskagam near Dhandhuka town, was taken to the hospital in February 2006 for an operation to remove a tumor. However, the tumour could not be removed and the treating hospital discharged the patient after a few days for further treatment of cancer. The patient, unfortunately, died in April that year.
Alleging medical negligence and deficiency in service, the widow of the patient approached the Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum, Ahmedabad (rural). The complainant alleged that the surgery was performed without conducting Prothrombin Time test, and the tumour was not removed from the abdomen even after incision, reports the Times of India.
It was further alleged, on the behalf of the complainant, that the treating hospital didn't obtain consent for the surgery from the patient or his relatives and didn't provide the family with the medical case papers as well. Contending that as per the rules, the hospital is liable to provide the patient with the medical case papers within 72 hours, the complainant in her plea before the Consumer court sought a compensation of Rs 10 lakh from the treating hospital.
As the district Forum dismissed the complaint, the complainant approached the State Commission afterwards. Recently, the judgment of the State Commission came, and the Commission exonerated the doctor of the charges of medical negligence as the Commission held that the treating doctor had performed his duty and exercised an ordinary degree of professional skill and competence.
The daily adds that the counsel appearing for the complainant, advocate V M Gamara has informed that although the Commission dismissed the medical negligence on the part of the treating doctor, it noted that the consent form was completely blank, meaning informed consent was not obtained from the patient or his family. As per the Commission, this amounts to medical negligence.
Further, the Commission also observed that the hospital provided the patient's family with the medical case papers only in 2008 after being sued by the Complainant. Noting that this is against the rule of providing case papers within 72 hours, the consumer court ruled that it is a deficiency in service on the part of the treating hospital.
Thus, holding the Ahmedabad-based treating hospital guilty of medical negligence and deficiency in service, the State commission directed the hospital to pay Rs 1 lakh as compensation to the complainant. The hospital has been further asked to pay Rs 10,000 to the complainant for incurring the legal expenditure.