Possibility of a recurrence must be conveyed to the patient

  • Posted on: June 24, 2017

Doctors have rights and responsibilities. The courts don’t take it lightly when they err on their responsibility despite clear indications of a possible mistake.

Kamlesh Singh was an aspiring PI at the CPF. However, he was suffering from left side Varicocele right side varicose vein (Leg) and hence was medically unfit for the post. He approached the North City Hospital & Neuro Institute where the doctor performed Lt. sided Varicocele with excision and ligation of Rt. sided Superficial Saphenous vein multiple sub-fascial ligation of varicose vein. Kamlesh Singh was discharged a week after the surgery and with hopes of successful enrolment and a medically fit certificate, he approached the CPF’s review committee. To his surprise, the committee declared him unfit observing that the right side varicose vein was operated and cured but the left side’s Varicocele remained. With crashed hopes, Kamlesh Singh visited another doctor for a second opinion who advised another surgery.

Disappointed with the outcome of second opinion, and the surgery performed by the doctor, he approached the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, West Bengal, seeking compensation and justice for the incomplete surgery. The one and only allegation made was that the hospital was careless in performing the surgery. What else could be the cause for recurring Varicocele, that too within four months of the surgery?

The hospital had taken a defiant stand. It was stated that the surgery was uneventful and the patient was discharged in a hemodynamically stable and improved condition. It was further stated that recurrence of Varicocele was a common phenomenon and hence the treating doctor or the hospital cannot be held negligent for it.

Leave the decision making to us, the Commission would’ve wanted to say to the representatives of the hospital. It was observed that while the patient was discharged with a medically fit certificate, CPF review committee reported ‘left side Varicocele present’. It proved that the doctor, who was not an urologist, andrologist or a radiologist, did not perform the surgery appropriately. It was further observed that recurrence in such a case occurs only after five months and the hospital did not produce any evidence to prove otherwise. What’s really worrisome, the Commission observed, that possibility of such recurrence was not conveyed to the patient – and stated the following: “Evidence on records and the observations clearly indicate the presence of three essential components of medical negligence, i.e. ‘duty’, ‘breach’ and ‘resultant damage’ in the case on hand”.

Kamlesh Singh perhaps did not get the desired job, but he surely got the justice he deserved.

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