Post-mortem a must for ascertaining ‘other reasons’

  • Posted on: June 02, 2022

A pregnant patient, due to deliver, was admitted to a nursing home under the care of a surgeon, anaesthetist and resident doctor. A healthy baby was delivered, but unfortunately the patient died soon thereafter.

Her husband sued the doctors and nursing home, who surprisingly stated in defence that the patient did not die due to negligence as claimed, but rather passed away due to some ‘other reasons’.

The Commission was perhaps unimpressed by such a statement. At the outset it was observed that the nursing home did not have required permissions and licences to function. It was further observed that the doctors did not perform post-mortem to ascertain reasons for cause of patient’s death, and inferred that she may have succumbed due to anaesthetic complications.

The doctors were held negligent for not presenting medical records and not performing post-mortem, and the nursing home for operating despite lacking in infrastructure.

Source: Order pronounced by West Bengal State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission on 16th January, 2021.