The extent to which people must be wary of greedy medical practitioners has come into sharp focus in a judgement issued by the Chandigarh Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission. A BAMS doctor at Amritsar who claimed to be an MD admitted a patient of hernia at his hospital. He got the operation done by another doctor who falsely claimed to be an MS. The patient died within four days of the operation.
Holding Dr JS Saini guilty of medical negligence,the Commission has directed him to pay Rs 3 lakh to the family of the deceased,Rajinder Singh Sharma,as compensation. The appeal filed by the doctor against the order issued by District Consumer Forum,Amritsar,has been dismissed with costs of Rs 20,000.
The Commission observed that the entire course of treatment was grossly negligent,and the hospital blatantly fudged records to claim innocence. In his statement,Dr Saini claimed that even though he is BAMS,he was competent to prescribe not only allopathic medicines but also allopathic treatment to the patient,who,according to him,was suffering from prostrate problem.
In this regard,the Commission referred to a Supreme Court judgment which had held that a homeopathic doctor is under statutory duty to practice in homeopathy only and not to enter the field of any other system of medicine.
Regarding the other documents submitted by the doctor to claim innocence,the Commission agreed with the Amritsar Forum’s view that these were introduced later to fill the gaps in their story. The hospital had not even taken the written consent of the patient for the operation. According to the order,the signatures of Rajinder Singh Sharma were copied on the consent from some other paper. The case was filed against the hospital by Rajinder’s widow Rekha Sharma and their three daughters.
His family had stated in the complaint that the operation was conducted in a hasty manner without performing requisite pre-operative tests,and even proper anaesthesia was not administered to him. The doctor who performed the operation had come from Jalandhar,and left immediately after the surgery without providing any post-operative care. The family had further stated that the hospital did not possess life-saving drugs and there was no proper arrangement for blood,its testing and matching.