Case nº First Appeal No. 674 of 2007 of National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, September 17, 2013 (case 1. C.K. Pandian, 2. P. Vinayakaselvi, 3. C.K.P. Parmasundari, 4. C.K.P. Aiyan Ram, 5. C.K.P. Srinivasalingam Vs 1. S.R. Trust, 2. Meenakshi Mission Hospital and Research Centre, 3. Dr. Ramesh, 4. Dr. Pandian, 5. M/s New India Assurance Co. Ltd.)

Judge:For Appellants: Mr. V. Ramasubramanian, Advocate with Mr. A. Lakshmi Narayanan, Advocate and Mr. V. Balachandran, Advocate and For Respondents: Mr. K. Perumal, Advocate Mr. Nitesh, Advocate
President:Vineeta Rai, Presiding Member and Vinay Kumar, Member
Defense:Consumer Protection Act, 1986
Resolution Date:September 17, 2013

Order:

Vineeta Rai, Presiding Member

  1. This appeal has been filed by C.K. Pandian, Appellant herein and Complainant No.1 before the Tamil Nadu State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (hereinafter referred to as the State Commission) and others being aggrieved by the order of that Commission which had dismissed their complaint of medical negligence, which resulted in the death of Appellant No.1's wife Parvathi, against Meenakshi Mission Hospital and Research Centre (hereinafter referred to as the Respondent Hospital), its founder Chairman and concerned Doctors.

  2. In his complaint before the State Commission, it was stated by Appellant No.1 that his wife Parvathi (hereinafter referred to as the Patient) was a heart patient with diabetes. Following an advertisement issued by the Respondent Hospital regarding their "Meenakshi Health Care Scheme", Patient joined the scheme on 05.06.1996 and the Duty Doctors of the Respondent Hospital after examining her informed Appellant No.1 that she had a minor problem in her ECG and she should seek admission in the Respondent Hospital to undergo various tests. The next day, Patient was informed that apart from the earlier medical problems she was also detected with stones in the gallbladder for which immediate surgery was advised since a delay could endanger her life. Appellant No.1 and the Patient specifically enquired from the concerned Doctors whether in view of her heart ailments and diabetes Patient could withstand the surgery, to which they were informed that it will be done under laparoscopic method which only required a small hole and the stones could be removed within 10 minutes and she would be discharged the next day. Appellant No.1, therefore, reluctantly gave consent for this procedure. During the course of surgery on 12.06.1996 before the Patient could even complete the glucose drip administered to her, she started complaining of chest pain, following which the nurse on duty removed the glucose drip and the surgery was postponed. Appellant No.1 expressed concern about this incident to Respondent Doctors i.e. OPs 3 and 4, who, however, reiterated that it was necessary to remove the gallbladder stones by laparoscopic procedure and the procedure was refixed for 14.06.1996. Following the surgery the Patient was taken to Intensive Care Unit and was in a coma. When Appellant No.1 met the Patient, he was shocked to see a big plaster about 6 to 7 inches on the right side near the hip of the Patient. Appellant No.1 thereafter immediately approached OP-3 seeking clarification as to why the procedure was not conducted through laparoscopic method since consent for the same had been given. It was only on 19.06.1996 that Respondents informed him that the laparoscopic procedure could not be done because gas was required to be infused which the Patient's heart would not withstand and, therefore, an open surgery was conducted. Patient's condition continued to deteriorate. On 20.06.1996 Patient was taken in an ambulance for a CT scan (head) to Vita Diagnostics Limited, MR & CR Imaging Centre and though the result of the scan was made available to the Doctors at the Respondent Hospital, they failed to furnish the same to Appellant No.1 and instead shifted the Patient to a separate ICU Room on additional payment. Patient remained there from 21.06.1996 to 26.06.1996 without any improvement in her comatose position. On 26.06.1996 Appellant No.1 was informed by the Founder and Chairman of OP-1/Trust that Patient's heart and lung were on artificial support and advised that she be taken to home. After obtaining signatures of Appellant No.1, Patient was put in the ambulance with a ward boy holding a rubber pump in his hand and pumping a tube inserted in the nose of the Patient. During the course of the journey, Patient breathed her last. Appellant No.1 thereafter approached the Respondents to obtain the discharge summary and other medical papers which were not given to him on the grounds that the Patient was discharged against medical advice and in order to get the discharge summary he should pay Rs.6312/-. However, till date the discharge summary was not given. Appellant No.1 contended that the Patient passed away because an open surgery for which no consent was taken and which was contraindicated in patients with diabetes and heart ailments was conducted on her instead...

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