Misfortunes came in plenty

  • Posted on: February 11, 2021

This probably is one of the most unfortunate cases where a doctor volunteered for a CME surgery, but died before even the procedure began.

The patient, an orthopaedic surgeon, suffered from hemarthrosis as a result of an injury to his left knee. He volunteered for a state sponsored CME program to operate his leg with an intention of taking the lead in benefitting the budding surgeons. His anaesthetist friend also accompanied for the procedure.

Fate had different plans for this passionate doctor though. He suffered a cardiac arrest immediately after anaesthesia was administered by his friend. The doctors present at the CME tried their best to revive him, and transferred him to another hospital but it was too late. He was declared brought dead. Shockingly, the anaesthetist committed suicide soon after!

The patient’s family was aghast at the news. They sued the doctors and hospital where CME program – operation was held. It was alleged that the hospital owner was a homeopath yet a surgery was performed. It was also alleged that the doctors present at the hospital were duty bound to check whether or not the anaesthetist was qualified to administer anaesthesia.

The doctors stated in defence that the orthopaedic surgeon-patient insisted that his friend would administer anaesthesia. While it was not a norm to accept such requests, a special case was made since the doctor had volunteered for CME. Consent form was produced in which it was clearly mentioned that the patient chose his own anaesthetist.

Finally it was stated that only hospital premises were used for purpose of CME and its doctor-owner did not perform any procedure. Moreover, since it was a state sponsored CME, even consumables were not charged.

The Commission perused patient’s test reports and observed that he did not have any heart-related history or ailments and declared was fit for surgery. It was a sad and an unfortunate event but neither the doctors nor the hospital were accountable for it, ruled the Commission.

Source: Order pronounced by National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, on 10th January, 2021.