Patients often allege negligence based on their own perception of it

  • Posted on: August 10, 2018

Habibur’s wife was pregnant and the couple was rejoicing this new dawn in their life.

During one of the visits, Dr. Koley diagnosed high thyroid level and prescribed Thyronorm 25 mg. Mrs. Habibur took the medicine as per prescription and the level of thyroid came down.

Soon after, Mrs. Habibur gave birth to a child who was unfortunately born with multiple congenital anomaly and died within few days.

The couple was bereaved and it seemed it left a gaping hole in their life. Believing that it was Dr. Koley’s prescription that caused abnormalities in the child and eventually death, they approached State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, West Bengal.

It was alleged that the doctor prescribed heavy doses of medicines for thyroid which caused abnormalities in the child. Moreover, the patient followed the prescription and advice to the letter but instead of improving, her condition deteriorated. Finally, it was also alleged that the doctor neither mentioned any symptoms in the medical records nor advised the patient any clinical tests, and that amounts to medical negligence.

Dr. Koley was sure there were no lapses on his part as he presented his side of the story. It was stated that the patient was first diagnosed with high level of thyroid and only after that medicine was prescribed to bring the thyroid level down – which indeed dropped. The doctor also countered that there was no expert opinion presented to substantiate the claims of medical negligence.

The Commission agreed with the doctor. Citing medical literature, it was observed that Thyronorm is used to treat hyperthyroidism and it is safe for pregnant patients. It was further observed that the allegation of negligence was purely based on perception and it cannot be entertained.

In absence of any solid proof or expert opinion, the Commission ruled in favour of Dr. Koley. Perhaps Habibur understood that his loss was not doctor’s fault.

Source: Order pronounced by State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, West Bengal on 26th July, 2018.