Girl dies after Delhi hospital fails to inform family about her condition, fined Rs 5 lakh
Having failed to effectively communicate about the autoimmune disease to a patient's family, along with certain risks involved in the treatment cost Indraprastha Apollo Hospital and the treating doctor dear.
Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has asked the hospital and the doctor to compensate the family with Rs 5 lakh for not obtaining the consent of patients attendants for giving treatment.
The court observed that there was no record to show that if the patient or her attendants were informed about the diagnosis of the disease SLE, nature of the proposed treatment, potential risk of the treatment and the consequences of the patient refusing the suggested line of treatment.
"All these things were fundamental requirement of law. In every field of medicine, an informed consent is mandatory."
The parents of 23-year-old Anupama moved consumer court alleging that in 2004 their daughter died in the hospital due to negligence of the doctors as she was being kept on the heavy dose of steroids.
She was admitted after she suddenly became weak and did not recover. The consumer court, based on the opinion of experts, discarded negligence but held that the hospital was deficient in service for not communicating effectively to the patient and her family.
The court said that there is no 'informed consent' or any such disclosure in black and white in the whole record before the commission. There was no consent obtained while transfusing blood. Similarly there was no 'consent' while transfusing plasma.
Experts while giving their opinion have held that the hospital was guilty on that count.
"Disclosure to the attendants could have prepared them mentally to undergo the treatment and face the risks associated with it. Attendants could have exercised their option not to undergo the treatment in question or they could have opted for some alternative treatment in other therapies. In its absence, they suffered mental agony, for which they are required to be compensated. Deceased was a 23-year-old college going student. Compensation to the tune of Rs 5 lakh would meet the ends of justice," said the court.
"Hospital and the treating doctor are directed to pay an amount of Rs 5 lakh jointly and severally to the complainant within a period of 30 days starting from Sunday, failing which it shall carry interest @12 per cent per annum," the order said.