Upholding the order of the Consumer Forum, the Chandigarh State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has dismissed an appeal by the UT director of health and family welfare and the Government Block Civil Hospital in Sector 22 seeking relief from paying Rs 2 lakh compensation for the death of a foetus in a 28-year-old woman's womb, due to doctors' negligence.
The commission, while dismissing the appeal, on February 25, said: "The district consumer forum was right in holding that the death of the foetus of the complainant resulted due to the negligence of doctors on duty at the Government Block Civil Hospital in Sector 22 and the UT director of health and family welfare."
Vibha Aggarwal, resident of Sector 21, had approached doctors at the Sector-22 hospital and complained that the foetus wasn't growing properly after one-month of pregnancy in December 2011. However, she was told that her pregnancy was normal. In April 2012, she again visited the hospital's gynae department as her body had swelled; but the doctors told her that pregnancy was normal. No treatment was given despite her repeated visits, the complainant said.
Vibha then approached the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) in Sector 32 in June 2012 for a check-up. gynaecologist then conducted an ultrasound scan and told her that she was bearing a crimpled foetus, and told her that the doctors who has seen her previously were negligent. A month later, her condition worsened and she got the dead male foetus removed at a private clinic.
"It appears that the doctors on duty turned a deaf ear to the complaint of Vibha that she was having stomach pain and there was a little growth of foetus in the uterus. Had the doctors on duty got the ultrasound examination done earlier, the baby might have been saved. We find that this is purely a case of medical negligence," the consumer forum had held on September 6.
Besides the compensation, the director and the Sector-22 civil hospital were also directed to pay Rs 29,900 as the cost of removal of the dead foetus at a private hospital and Rs 11,000 as cost of litigation to Vibha.