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Teenage egg donor’s death: ‘No negligence on part of fertility clinic’

It, however, deepens the mystery behind the circumstances that led to the egg donor's death.

Mumbai |
January 8, 2014 5:34:19 pm
Sushma Pandey’s mother Pramila had in October 2013 demanded termination of Dr Allahbadia’s licence. Sushma Pandey’s mother Pramila had in October 2013 demanded termination of Dr Allahbadia’s licence.

A committee of doctors from state-run JJ Hospital has concluded that there was no negligence on the part of ‘Rotunda: The Centre for Human Reproduction’ in a case pertaining to the death of 17-year-old Sushma Pandey, an egg donor. Sushma died on August 10, 2010, two days after she donated eggs at the hospital.
The opinion of the JJ Hospital committee was sought after the Bombay High Court discharged Sushma’s employer Sunil Chaumal and asked the police to probe the role of the hospital in which she had donated eggs thrice “in flagrant violation of the requirement that such a donor has to be between the ages of 18 years and 35 years.”
The committee’s clean chit to Rotunda, informed to the court by the police Tuesday, brings relief to Dr Gautam Allahbadia, medical director of the centre. Allahbadia is also a member of the drafting committee of the Assisted Reproductive Technologies (Regulation) Bill, 2010, that is yet to be tabled in Parliament.
While hearing the application for discharge filed by Sanaullah Mustakin, the man who allegedly accompanied Sushma to the Rotunda Centre two days before she died, Justice Revati Mohite Dere said, “It appears that no action will be taken against the doctors.” She, however, observed that the case was unfortunate and said, “This is something where not just one person is involved. The report (from JJ Hospital) does not stop them (police) from investigating who else is involved.”
In its report of December 9, 2013, the committee — comprising Dr G D Niturkar and Dr G S Chavan from the Department of Forensic Medicine and Dr Tushar Palve from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology — stated that Sushma had died as a result of “brain hemorrhage and pulmonary hemorrhages due to ovarian hyper-stimulation shock syndrome.”
The report added, “Ovarian hyper-stimulation shock syndrome is a known remote complication of the process of egg donation. The same has been duly informed to the patient by written, witnessed informed consent.” It also said that Sushma, her relatives or friends had not turned to the Rotunda Centre on August 9, 2010 or August 10, 2010 when she complained of abdominal pain and vomiting and had hence, “failed to submit Ms Sushma to competent medical care”. “There is no evidence suggestive of medical negligence on part of the doctors of Rotunda Hospital,” it said.
It, however, deepens the mystery behind the circumstances that led to the egg donor’s death. Sushma’s mother Pramila Pandey, in October 2013, filed a complaint before the Maharashtra Medical Council demanding the termination of Allahbadia’s practice alleging medical negligence.
Denying allegations that Sushma was underage, the centre had said when she first approached them in February 2009, she submitted a PAN card which stated her name as “Sushma Pramod Dube” and mentioned her age as 19. The police’s probe with the Income Tax Department revealed that there was no PAN card in the name of “Sushma Pramod Dube” with a Saki Naka address, where she resided.

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First published on: 08-01-2014 at 05:34:19 pm

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