Woman alleges hospital & doc ruined surgery with unequal limb length, asked to pay Rs 25,000 (India)
Taking a tough stand against a wrongful medical negligence complaint, not only did the State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission (SCDRC) dismissed the plea, it also directed the complainant to pay Rs 25,000 to the hospital and doctor.
In its order, the SCDRC said that such complaints may discourage dutiful and honest doctors from serving patients in need. In her complaint, Dr Bhavana Doshi, a Navi Mumbai local who had undergone surgery for a left neck femur fracture, had alleged medical negligence against consulting orthopaedic surgeon Dr Vinod Agarwal and Lilavati Hospital and Research Centre.
She complained that following the surgery, she felt she was limping due to a limb length discrepancy, around 2.5 cm more on the left end. Unsatisfied, she then underwent a second surgery at the Breach Candy Hospital.
Doshi then sought Rs. 63.61 lakh as compensation for hospitalization and treatment, along with corrective revision hip replacement surgery costs and compensatory damages for pain, discomfort, anguish.
While hearing the case, the commission stated that the concept of medical negligence is dealt with settled principles of the law, adding that the burden of proof is correspondingly greater on the person who alleges negligence against a doctor than a charge of negligence against the driver of a car.
It said that the liability of the doctor arises not when the patient has suffered any injury when he is treated in good faith, but rather when the injury has resulted due to the conduct of the doctor.
It added that the expert opinion sought from KEM Hospital also absolved the doctor of the negligence charge. “In replacement surgery, we mainly look after the stability of the hip joint and limb length discrepancy is unpredictable, stability takes precedence over limb length equality. Whatever pain the patient gets is resolved in six months in most cases,” KEM noted.