How to treat the patient? Only the doctor will decide!

  • Posted on: November 01, 2019

Law accepts that choosing the line of treatment is a doctor’s prerogative as long as it is within accepted standard protocol. Patients do not have a say in this aspect, and this case demonstrates the fact.

Mayna had approached Dr. Kejriwal with complain of pain in abdomen. The doctor, after perusing Ultrasound report brought by the patient, diagnosed that she had a stone in her left ureter and two stones in left kidney.

A surgery was performed and stones were removed but Mayna’s pain in abdomen did not subside. She approached Dr. Kejriwal ten days after the surgery with complain of pain in lower abdomen. An ultrasound was performed which showed a small stone in the left kidney.

Based on the 2nd ultrasound report, Mayna alleged that Dr. Kejriwal did not perform the surgery properly and that she suffered a lot due to it.

The doctor presented facts of the case and let the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, West Bengal decide the matter.

The Commission observed that the stone was of a very small size and the doctor treated it conservatively with medicines – which was as per standard protocol. Citing medical literature, the Commission further observed that a stone lesser than 10 mm in size, if asymptomatic, can be treated by regular follow ups and medicines.

Treating a non-serious patient conservatively, especially when it is not indicated, cannot be termed as medical negligence.

The Commission dismissed Mayna’s case and held the doctor not guilty.

Source: Order pronounced by State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, West Bengal on 12th June, 2019.