Man Wins Legal Battle 10 Yrs After His Wife’s Death
A decade after his wife died due to medical complications, a man has won his battle with a city hospital for negligence.
Slapping G M Modi Hospital with a Rs 21lakh penalty, not only did Delhi State Consumer Redressal Commission find it guilty of medical negligence, but also said that “unnecessary” surgeries were carried out. Besides, the hospital had also included surgeries that were never done to inflate the medical bills.
While imposing the penalty, judicial member O P Gupta and member Anil Srivastava accused the hospital of “washing its hands off ” and trying to wriggle out of its “mischief ”.
Delhi resident Vishnu Priya Giri had been admitted to the hospital on a complaint of stomach pain and she was operated upon on February 6, 2006 for “laparoscopic cholecystectomy mucocele gallbladder type-I” with multiple “fibroids uterus”.
The discharge summary, however, showed that the patient had undergone laparoscopic cholecystectomy and common bile duct (CBD) exploration with laparoscopic assisted vaginal hysterectomy. The complaint alleged that there was no evidence to show a block in CBD requiring the surgery. “Besides, no consent was obtained. The patient could not fully recover. Pain never subsided,” it added.
Subsequent tests at RML Hospital showed the presence of multiple cancerous tumours, which were in their advanced stage. Vishnu Priya eventually died on January 1, 2008.
The patient’s husband, Madhusudhan Giri, alleged that the surgically removed gall bladder was not sent for histopathological examination and only the uterus was sent. He contended that the gall bladder got damaged during the operation and the bile in it spilled inside causing irreparable damage to the organs.
Dr Manoj Malik, medical superintendent and consultant at G M Modi Hospital, accused the operating doctor, Dr A K Panigrahi, for being responsible and denied any role. Even Medical Council of India (MCI) upheld the decision of Delhi Medical Council where “medical negligence on the part of Dr Panigrahi and complicity of the hospital” was found.
Dr Panigrahi, however, argued that no complaint was filed against him setting out procedural lapse for more than six months after the surgery was performed. No allegation of late detection of cancer could be levelled against him as the preoperative tests didn’t show any evidence or suspicion of malignancy in the gall bladder.
The commission took note of the MCI decision and said, “Dr A K Panigrahi failed to place on record any material to upset the findings given by MCI. He is found highly negligent in not sending the gallbladder for histopathological report. MCI rightly held that there was complicity between Dr Panigrahi and G M Modi Hospital. Both have been found guilty,” it held.
G M Modi Hospital is believed to be acquired by another hospital. Advocate Shashi Shankar, who has handled several cases of medical negligence, said, “In case a hospital is taken over by another, the liabilities and assets always pass on to the new entity and the amount awarded by court can be recovered from it.”
Dr A K Panigrahi failed to place on record any material to upset the findings given by MCI. He is found highly negligent in not sending the gallbladder for histopathological report
Delhi State Consumer Redressal Commission