Pay fine for invasive test without patients nod: NCDRC


eMediNexus    10 July 2018

NCDRC has directed the fortis Chandigarh hospital and treating doctor to pay Rs 10 lakh as compensation to the complainant under the Consumer Protection Act. The hospital claimed that it had obtained the patient’s consent, but the file was destroyed by water seepage in the room where the records were kept.

NCDRC said that it failed to obtain ‘informed consent’ from the patient before performing an invasive procedure. They set aside an earlier order passed by the state commission, which had given a clean chit to the hospital.

The NCDRC said “there is not even a whisper” to indicate that “the treating doctor had explained to the complainant the pros and cons: the material risks involved and the benefits of the procedure, particularly keeping in view her age and health condition.”

The case dates back to July 2012, when Manmohan Kaur (55), underwent colonoscopy. She claimed that she felt severe pain on insertion of the colonoscope, and requested the treating doctor to discontinue the procedure. However, it was not stopped, and caused perforation in the colon, resulting in deterioration of her condition.

NCDRC on June 29, said: “In our opinion, apart from the fact that the explanation for non-production of the consent form, claimed to have been got signed from the complainant, does not inspire confidence, even on merits, the treating doctor and the hospital have failed to prove that a valid/ informed consent had been obtained from the complainant before subjecting her to colonoscopy procedure. We are, therefore, of the considered view that the treating doctor as well as the hospital had failed to obtain a valid consent from the complainant, and the colonoscopy procedure conducted on her was unauthorised, amounting to deficiency in service on their part.”

“Fundamentally, the law requires the disclosure to the patient, information relating to the diagnosis of disease, nature of the proposed treatment, potential risks of the proposed treatment and the consequences of the patient refusing the suggested line of treatment,” it said. “Disclosure/ explanation of such information to the patient by the treating doctor and the patient’s conscious decision, in this behalf, before venturing into the suggested procedure/ treatment, is the basic attribute of an informed consent, which is considered mandatory in every field of surgical procedure/ intervention,” said the commission. ( I Express)

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