Kolkata: Holding “guilty of infamous conduct in a professional respect”, the West Bengal Medical Council (WBMC) has ordered the removal of a doctor’s name from the state medical register for a one year period.
The decision comes in response to a case filed by a deceased patient’s wife alleging medical negligence by one Dr. Tapan Kumar Dass of Sri Aurobindo Seva Kendra for botched-up the cancer diagnosis.
The woman alleged that the hospital and Dr Dass had not alerted the family about an abnormal opacity on the chest X-ray detected by a radiologist in the hospital and kept on treating the patient for reactive arthritis for almost 10 months. The doctor also allegedly missed the radiologist’s advice who had also recommended a follow-up CT scan and a fine needle biopsy.
The patient had been admitted to the hospital for fever and his discharge summary had only mentioned “reactive arthritis following acute gastroenteritis, vestibular lesion (an ear-and-balance abnormality) and lichen simplex (a skin condition).
The patient was later diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer in January 2017 during a routine medical check-up and died in November that year. Medical Dialogues team had earlier reported that the patient’s wife has also approached the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) demanding a compensation of Rs 2.3 crore.
On the same matter, Telegraph reports that the West Bengal Medical Council has held the doctor guilty considering the failure of the doctor of not alerting the patient, Samiran Das or his family about the abnormal X-Ray. The Council observed that it was unlikely that a doctor who examines X-ray scans regularly would miss such shadow observed in the chest X-ray.
“…..The argument put forward by Dr Dass that he had seen the X-ray report but chose to override the observation of the radiologist since the patient was suffering from high fever, does not hold any valid ground because the patient was discharged later in a stable condition without the CT-guided fine needle biopsy…..
….So it was not that Dr Dass had missed the shadow….
Meanwhile, Dr Dass acknowledged before the council’s ethics panel and wrote, “Responsibility of delay in the final diagnosis of the (lung cancer) lies with me mainly”.
On this, the council noted, “In the backdrop of such an unambiguous written statement, his citing references to defend his action before the council can be safely construed as an afterthought to defend his lapse which led to a loss of life.”
The state medical council then held the doctor “guilty of infamous conduct in a professional respect” and decided to remove his name from the medical practitioners’ register for a year.