An informed consent is non-negotiable

  • Posted on: December 11, 2020

An informed consent must be taken for all interventions or procedures. Consent taken for one procedure is not valid for another one. The only time this rule is exempted is during emergencies. But it was not the case in this instance.

A pregnant patient was due to deliver. She was admitted at the hospital where the gynaecologist took consent for performing C-section. Unfortunately, a still born male child was delivered. The patient’s condition deteriorated as she suffered uncontrolled bleeding. She was taken to a higher center where she received treatment for almost a month before recovering fully.

A shocking discovery was made at the higher center. The patient suffered uncontrolled bleeding due to a cut in the iliac artery. And her uterus was removed.

The patient and her furious husband filed a case against the hospital and gynaecologist.

The Commission probably would’ve been shocked too upon perusing the medical records of the hospital and higher center. At the outset, it was observed that the consent for removing uterus was not taken by the gynaecologist.

In fact, words were added in the same consent letter which was taken for performing C-section. ‘Patient’s relative is inclined to remove the uterus’ was added subsequently, and the Commission ruled it as a case of fabrication!

From the higher center’s discharge summary it was observed that there was a cut in patient’s iliac artery and cervical stump was left inside by the gynaecologist. The Commission viewed this as a case of ‘serious negligence’.

The gynaecologist and hospital were held negligent and their pleas were dismissed.

Source: Order pronounced by National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission on 26th August, 2020.