Consumer forum rejects plea claiming medical negligence

‘Death no ground for compensation’

The State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has dismissed a compensation plea alleging that medical negligence by a hospital in Nangloi led to the death of a teenager.

While dismissing the plea, the forum stated that death under the treating doctor or a hospital cannot be held as ground for medical negligence.

A family alleged that a 19-year-old youth died owing to medical negligence on behalf of Nangloi’s Khera Hospital. The panel said: “Death is a very unfortunate incident but whether the act of a doctor treating the patient has resulted in the end of the life has to be assessed or evaluated in the right and objective perspective before reaching to a conclusion regarding the negligence.”

It added: “The mere fact that a patient dies in a hospital does not lead to a presumption that the death occurred due to the negligence of the doctor. In order to make a doctor responsible for a patient’s death, it must be established that there was negligence or incompetence on his part and that he did something in disregard for the life and safety.”

“The complainant’s son, having consumed poisonous substance, allegedly due to mental depression, was brought in for the treatment…the allegation of the complainant is that no treatment was done [for over 45 minutes], despite there being emergency,” the forum observed.

However, the hospital contended that treatment was started within 15 minutes of the patient being brought in for treatment.

While observing that treatment was started in the shortest possible time, the panel said: “It is trite law that if the doctor has taken proper precaution and despite that, if the patient does not survive, then the court should be slow in attributing negligence on the part of the doctor.”

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Printable version | May 27, 2020 5:16:12 PM |

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