Law plucks out the hospital’s wisdom tooth

  • Posted on: May 09, 2017

In an insanely bizarre incident, a hospital denied extracting tooth of a patient who was in acute pain. Reason for this denial was that the patient wasn’t accompanied by his relatives!

The patient had few options, and surprisingly he requested a passerby to accompany him who happily obliged. But this wasn’t the end of this bizarre saga! The hospital again denied extraction on the grounds that the patient was not with a family member, and that was against its rules. Being fed up of such apathy, the patient visited another hospital where the doctor extracted the tooth and relieved him of the pain.

The patient seemed to be in full swing as he approached the State Commission – West Bengal, slapping a case of negligence on the hospital. He pleaded that presence of a family member during tooth extraction was neither mentioned in the outdoor ticket nor is a standard protocol. The hospital’s bizarre claim is arbitrary and they just want to wash the hands off their duty, claimed the patient.

The hospital continued to play the bizarre game. It was stated in defense that the patient didn’t follow the hospital’s rule of accompanying a relative which was displayed on a notice board at the hospital. It is important that the patient is accompanied by a family member during surgical procedures in order to be better prepared for emergency situations such as excess bleeding, unconsciousness, etc. Moreover, it was contributory negligence on patient’s part and hence, his tooth could not be extracted, blurted the hospital representative.

The Commission would’ve been amused and angry as it gave the following ruling. It was observed that the hospital did not present any evidence either to prove that presence of a family member was indeed necessary for tooth extraction or that the hospital had such a law. Moreover, another practitioner performing tooth extraction clearly demonstrated that presence of a family member was not a standard protocol for the procedure.

“You failed to discharge your duty and hence you are negligent”, stated the State Commission as it awarded compensation to the patient.

A tight slap for the right reason perhaps?

Source:Order pronounced by West Bengal State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission on 30th March, 2017.