Consent at time of admission valid for an intervention? No says the court

  • Posted on: January 28, 2019

Hospitals and doctors ought to know that consent taken at the time of admission is not valid for an intervention. Law is absolutely clear on this aspect and does not spare the erring healthcare provider.

Recently, the Maharashtra State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission had held a doctor and hospital negligent for not performing C-section in time. This delay resulted in baby being delivered through forceps during which the newborn suffered brachial plexus injury.

One of the main defense of the doctor and the hospital was the shoulder dystocia because of which left arm could not be delivered and they had to proceed with the manoeuvre necessary for the delivery of shoulder. Another defence presented was that the patient’s husband was not willing to give consent for a C-section and hence the same could not be performed.

Citing the expert’s opinion presented by the patient, the Commission observed that the doctor failed to perform C-section in time which resulted in permanent disability to the new-born in form of left side brachial plexus injury.

Moreover, the Commission also observed that the consent taken at the time of admission was used as consent to deliver the child through forceps, and that too was against the law. Both – the doctor and the hospital – were ordered to pay compensate the patient twelve lakh rupees!

Source: Order pronounced by Maharashtra State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Mumbai on 19th December, 2018