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Failed operation need not mean medical negligence

mumbai Updated: May 30, 2011 01:58 IST
Kanchan Chaudhari
Kanchan Chaudhari
Hindustan Times
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If a surgery does not achieve the desired result, it does not imply medical negligence, a city consumer court has ruled.

Dismissing a complaint by a homemaker from Dahisar who delivered a baby three years after getting a family-planning operation done at a civic hospital, the Mumbai Suburban District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum said: “Mere not achieving the desired result after surgery does not amount to medical negligence. The complainant is required to furnish specific proofs for proving medical negligence.”

In December 2004, the mother of two underwent a family-planning operation at the Shatabdi hospital in Borivli.

However, in October 2006, when she underwent a check-up for stomach pain, she discovered she was pregnant. In April 2007, she gave birth to a baby boy.

The homemaker then entered into correspondence with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), which runs the Shatabdi hospital, complaining about negligence on part of its medical officers. She moved the consumer forum in December 20007 after the BMC failed to respond to her letters, and sought compensation of Rs 15 lakh from the BMC for alleged medical negligence on part of its medical officers and the hospital.

Denying the charge, the BMC pointed out that medically, there has always been a 0.1% possibility of a woman getting pregnant despite going through a family-planning operation.

The bench comprising forum president JL Deshpande and member Deepa Bidnurkar dismissed the complaint as the complainant had not furnished any proof or opinion of an expert to support her allegations.

The forum took into account an August 2005 Supreme Court ruling, which held that allegations cannot be taken as gospel truth and that specific evidence is required for attributing medical negligence to a doctor.