Surgery for Obesity control, may not control Diabetes- Doctors saved from Medical Negligence allegations
The purpose of gastric bye-pass surgery was for the obesity i.e. reduce the body weight and not as a treatment for diabetes. The patient developed diabetic foot due to his uncontrolled diabetic status, which was clearly evident from the various laboratory reports.
Case Details :Harjeet Kaur V/s. Kular Hospital , Punjab and ors.F.A. No.799/2017
CORAM :HON'BLE MR. DR. S.M. KANTIKAR,PRESIDING MEMBER
Facts in Short :
1. The patient (since deceased) Mr. Satinder Pal Singh, weighing 95 kg, height 5.10, having history of High BP and Diabetics, was advised for Metaboilc Surgery by the Opponents. on 05/11/2013, the Gastric By-pass surgery (Metabolic Surgery) was performed and after discharge from the Patient, he was feeling uneasiness, however the Doctors assured that everything will be ok.
2. In January 2014, the patient developed Diabetic foot and deep burns. The time to time dressing also did not help and ultimately on 20..8.2015 his foot was amputated and in September 2015, the patient took his last breath. The Widow of the patient filed the compliant before Punjab State Forum alleging negligence on part of Doctors that the Diabetes was not controlled inspite of said surgery and thus it was the failure of surgery .
3. The Doctors refuted all the allegations. The State Commission dismissed the Compliant, hence the Appeal was field.
1. The Commission observed there was huge delay in filing the compliant as the Diabetic Foot was observed in Jan-2014 and the Compliant was filed Dec.2016, that too without filing any Delay Condonation Application. There was delay of 10 months
2. Even on merits, it was observed that the patient was diagnosed as Type II Diabetes Mellitus with Nephropathy, acute on Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). Also, the patient suffered Septicemia and Depressive illness having multiple cuts injuries in the neck and bilateral wrist. Therefore, the patient was put on mechanical ventilator from 22.8.2015 to 24.8.2015. Because of diabetic foot and burns, the patient developed infection and Septicemia which was the ultimate cause of the death of the patient.
3. It was further advised the purpose of gastric bye-pass surgery was for the obesity i.e. reduce the body weight. Nowhere, it was mentioned as a treatment for diabetes. The patient developed diabetic foot due to his uncontrolled diabetic status, which was clearly evident from the various laboratory reports.
4. Lastly the Commission relied on the celebrated judgment of Jacob Mathews Case, (2005)6 SCC 1, which read thus:-
“When a patient dies or suffers some mishap, there is a tendency to blame the doctor for this. Things have gone wrong and, therefore, somebody must be punished for it. However, it is well known that even the best professionals, what to say of the average professional, sometimes have failures. A lawyer cannot win every case in his professional career but surely he cannot be penalized for losing a case provided he appeared in it and made his submissions.”
5. In India, Obesity and Diabetics have achieved the epidemic proportions in this century. These are mainly life style deceases and also may be called as NCS i.e. Non Communicable Deceases. With the help of advances in Medical Science, such surgeries are being performed regularly and people are also benefited from it. In the instant case, the poor patient was overweight plus diabetics, a deadly combination. So what is the need of an hour is spreading awareness amongst people and the Doctors are the best persons to do the needful, I feel.
Ultimately our forefathers rightly said r that "शरीर माध्यम खलु धर्म साधनम" (body is tool to carry the work of soul) or in simple words,' HEALTH IS WEALTH"
With this I wish you all a very Happy, healthy, prosperous and litigation free new year ahead..
Thanks and Regards
Adv. Rohit Erande
Judgement Link :