Dad or a devil?

  • Posted on: June 28, 2016

Is it conceivable for a father to hide his daughter’s pregnancy, perhaps to save his social standing, to an extent that causes her death?! This story may help you form an opinion…

Mr. Kaliamurthy rushed his daughter to the hospital as she was suffering from chest discomfort, palpitation, abdominal pain and vomiting. Dr. Tamilarasu immediately started medication to bring down her pulse rate and to alleviate her chest pain and discomfort, but to no avail. Shockingly, around 9 PM, another doctor suspected rupture of ectopic pregnancy. The treating doctors decided to perform laparotomy, however the patient’s condition had worsened much and hence, it was not possible to perform the same. The young woman died within a few hours!

One could not determine if Mr. Kaliamurthy was bereaved or boastful. He approached the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi, alleging Dr. Tamilarasu of medical negligence that eventually caused his daughter’s death. He alleged that the doctor attended the patient immediately, but kept in dark about the line of treatment. He also alleged that the doctor performed an operation around 11 PM without giving him any details and took consent on some papers. He ended his allegations with the claim that the doctor owned the responsibility of causing his daughter’s death when he visited his house to say sorry!

Sorry!? For what, asked the doctor. The doctor also questioned the father’s motive in not disclosing the patient’s pregnancy and in wrongly informing that she was menstruating. The doctor rightly concluded his defence by stating that the patient was an unmarried girl and hence there was no reason to suspect pregnancy, especially given the information provided by the father, which was grossly inaccurate!

The experienced and honourable bench of justices had a unique case on their hand. It was apparent for them that Dr. Tamilarasu started the treatment as per patient’s general condition and information provided by her father. But since the patient’s health didn’t improve until evening, the doctor took further course of action which is when it was discovered that the patient was pregnant. Unfortunately, it was too late to save her by then, quite rightly noted the Commission.

Turning its glare of suspicion on the father, the Commission told him with a straight face that he provided no evidence to prove that Dr. Tamilarasu was told about the patient’s pregnancy; how then, can he be held negligent?

If not guilt, some sense hopefully prevailed in the father’s conniving head!

Source: Order pronounced by National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, December, 2015.