Hos­pi­tal must dis­close line of treat­ment to pa­tient, kin: Panel

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES CITY - Aamir.Khan2@

New Delhi: The Delhi State Con­sumer Com­mis­sion made it manda­tory for a hos­pi­tal to dis­close to the pa­tients or their at­ten­dants the line of treat­ment and the po­ten­tial risks in­volved in it.

The judg­ment came in con­nec­tion with the death of a 23year-old stu­dent, who died dur­ing a treat­ment at In­draprastha Apollo Hos­pi­tal in 2004.

The com­mis­sion’s ju­di­cial mem­ber, N P Kaushik, partly al­lowed the plea of the de­ceased’s fa­ther, Har­ish Kumar Chadha, who blamed the hos­pi­tal for the death of his daugh­ter, Anu­pama, and sought Rs 50 lakh com­pen­sa­tion.

While the panel found no neg­li­gence on the part of the hos­pi­tal, Kaushik pointed out, “No record shows if the pati- ent or her at­ten­dants were dis­closed in­for­ma­tion re­lat­ing to the di­ag­no­sis of the dis­ease, na­ture of the pro­posed treat­ment, po­ten­tial risk in­volved and con­se­quences of the pa­tient re­fus­ing the sug­gested line of treat­ment. All these things are fun­da­men­tal re­quire­ments of law. In ev­ery field of medicine, an in­formed con­sent is manda­tory. Though emer­gency med­i­cal cir­cum­stances are an ex­cep­tion.” The com­mis­sion di­rected the ho- spi­tal and the treat­ing doc­tor to pay Rs 5 lakh to the fam­ily.

In July 2004, Anu­pama suf­fered from di­ar­rhoea and was brought to In­draprastha Apollo Hos­pi­tal where Tarun Sa­hani was ap­pointed her treat­ing doc­tor. Four days later, Anu­pama was di­ag­nosed with sys­temic lu­pus ery­the­mato­sus (SLE) and hemolytic anaemia.

Chadha claimed that Anu­pama was fit on July 28 and was about to get dis­charged the next day. How­ever, he was later in­formed that her haemoglobin level was 7.1, and she needed blood. Blood trans­fu­sion was car­ried out, though Anu­pama had102 fever, he said. The steroids at­tacked the brain, lead­ing to her death, he al­leged.

The hos­pi­tal and Dr Sa­hani had said Anu­pama’s con­di­tion war­ranted life sav­ing mea­sures. They also said that af­ter the ad­mis­sion, rou­tine in­ves­ti­ga­tions as well as eval­u­a­tion for cause of anaemia were done.

A con­sumer fo­rum, which heard the mat­ter be­fore the com­mis­sion, re­ceived opin­ions from med­i­cal ex­perts who said the al­le­ga­tions of med­i­cal neg­li­gence were not proved. How­ever, they added that there was some de­gree of com­mu­ni­ca­tion gap be­tween the pa­tient’s fam­ily and the doc­tor. The fo­rum had granted Rs 25,000 com­pen­sa­tion, but Chadha sought an en­hance­ment.

The com­mis­sion noted the hos­pi­tal’s com­mu­ni­ca­tion could have pre­pared the fam­ily for the treat­ment and the risks in­volved. “SLE dis­ease had several risks, in­clud­ing death. It should have been ex­plained to the pa­tient or her at­ten­dants. There is no con­sent ob­tained while trans­fus­ing blood,” it said. op­ment to the un­de­vel­oped re­gions and hin­ter­land in Ra­jasthan, Haryana and Mad­hya Pradesh to spur growth and some back­ward ar­eas will also shine like Gu­ru­gram. In­dus­trial and com­mer­cial de­vel­op­ment will gen­er­ate jobs. We are now look­ing at build­ing high­ways on new align­ment rather than just ex­pand­ing the ex­ist­ing stretches to de­cen­tralise de­vel­op­ment,” he said.

TOI on March 4 had first re­ported how the high­ways min­istry will fo­cus more on build­ing green­field roads rather than keep on ex­pand­ing the ex­ist­ing ones.

Gad­kari said the Del­hiMum­bai Ex­press­way will pro­vide con­nec­tiv­ity to the pro­posed Cham­bal Ex­press­way and a dozen more cities, in­clud­ing Jaipur, Kota, Sawai Mad­hopur, Uj­jain, Godhra and Ahmed­abad. There is al- so a pro­posal to have the pro­vi­sion for a high-speed rail cor­ri­dor along the Gur­gaonVado­dara stretch.

The min­is­ter said work will start at 40 lo­ca­tions si­mul­ta­ne­ously. Since the ex­press­way will pass through un­ex­plored re­gions and back­ward ar­eas, the ex­penses for land ac­qui­si­tion will be less. The land ac­qui­si­tion ex­penses for the Gurgaon-Vadodara MA­HA­RASH­TRA

Ex­ist­ing Delhi-Mum­bai high­way car­ries 15% of coun­try’s freight traf­fic stretch is likely to be in the range of Rs 5,000 crore to Rs 6,000 crore, which is al­most one-third of what Na­tional High­way Au­thor­ity of In­dia would have spent for get­ting land for build­ing the Del­hiJaipur Ex­press­way.

Sources said the high­ways min­istry re­cently re­worked its plan to ex­tend the ear­lier pro­posed Delhi-Jaipur Ex­press­way up to Vadodara.

NITIN GAD­KARI

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