The medical profession is considered to be one of the noblest in the world. However, even the best profession in the world isn’t safe from cases of medical negligence. While in other professions, a mistake might mean a different end product; mistakes in the medical profession cost a patient their life. Not only that, medical negligence causes significant distress to the patient’s family.
India has seen its fair share of such cases. Let us take a look at some one the more prominent cases.
Medical Negligence In The Case Of Anuradha Saha
Medical negligence cases often take a long time to resolve. In this case, the victim Anuradha Saha’s husband Kunal Saha fought for some 15 years to get justice. In 1998, the US-based child psychologist visited Nightingale Diagnostic Center, Kolkata with complaints of fever, pain, and rashes. Dr. Sukumar Mukherjee, at the AMRI (Advanced Medical Research Institute) hospital, administered a higher than normal dose of a steroid called Depomedrol. It was this steroid that ended up destroying Anuradha’s natural body immunity.
Dr. Halder and Dr. Roychowdhry were called in for a consultation. They prescribed more steroids. She was not provided with proper case in the hospital. As her condition worsened, she was taken to Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai on the recommendation of Dr. Halder and Dr. Roychowdhry. The doctors at Breach Candy Hospital tried their best to reverse the mistakes made by the doctors in Kolkata. However, it was a little too late and she passed away in Mumbai 21 days after first visiting the doctor.
Her husband filed a case against the AMRI hospital. He lost his case at the state level, but eventually won when at the Supreme Court level. In October 2013, Kunal Saha was awarded compensation amounting to Rs. 6.08 crore.
The Curious Case Of Malaria And Typhoid
One would expect doctors to be aware of the difference between malaria and typhoid. But medical negligence has seeped into diagnosing these common diseases as well.
Kishan Rao took his wife to the Nikhil super Specialty Hospital in Hyderabad. She was suffering from fever and chills. The subsequent tests conducted in the hospital did not show a positive result for Malaria. The doctors decided to giver her medication for Typhoid. Her condition did not improve. When given saline, external particles in the solution caused respiratory issues. Eventually, she was shifted to the Yashoda hospital. Where she passed away. Her death certificate showed cause of death as Malaria. Hence, her husband filed a complaint against Nikhil Super Specialty Hospital. Despite State Commission’s refusal to entertain his plea, Kishan Rao won the case in the Supreme Court. The compensation amounted to Rs. 2 lakhs.
The Case Of Here And There
On April 21, 1997, a government employee visited AIIMS for a bypass surgery. He deposited the money for the operation on July 23 of the same year. Two days later, he was rushed to the hospital with complaints of chest pain and pain on the left side of his neck. Between 2 am and 5 am, the doctors at AIIMS provided no treatment. He was shifted to Safdarjung Hospital at 5 am and back to AIIMS on 30th July. The government employee passed away the next day.
The patient’s daughter brought a complaint of negligence against AIIMS. Their reasoning for shifting the patient was due to the lack of a bed. Furthermore, no assistance was provided (e.g.: Ambulance) to shift the patient to another hospital. Both these factors contributed to negligence, according to the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC). The compensation awarded in this case was Rs. 50 lakhs.
Medical negligence cases drag on for a long time. The experts called in to testify in court are doctors. In such cases, the medical fraternity sticks together and the patient or their kin are left with no recourse. We hope to see some change in the system that allows the grievances of the patients to be heard fairly in a court of law.
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