Botched Up Surgery: Madras High Court Directs Infertility Treatment Hospital To Pay ₹40 Lakh Compensation To Srilankan Woman
The Madras HC on 31st January 2023 directed a private infertility treatment hospital to compensate a Srilankan woman after a botched up surgery left her permanently disabled. This was seen in the matter of Flora Madiazagane v GG Hospital & others, C.S.No.392 of 2014 the matter was presided over by the The Hon’ble Mr. Justice G.Chandrasekharan.
FACTS OF THE CASE
Justice G Chandrasekharan noted that the doctors & the hospital knew about the medical history of the woman & yet continued with the surgery with no proper precaution to avoid damage. The woman was left with a perforated colon & permanent disabilities following her surgery.
The court added that the doctors were duty bound to advise the clients about the risks involved in a treatment & to opt the most suitable form of treatment for the patients.
a Doctor owes the duty to patient in deciding whether to undertake the case, the duty of care in deciding what treatment to give, & the duty of care in his administration of that treatment.
In the present case, the woman, who had previously undergone IVF treatment unsuccessfully had decided to go ahead with another infertility treatment at the defendant hospital. The doctors advised her to perform Laporoscopic surgery & Adhosiolysis surgery to remove fibroids from her uterus.
After being in the ICU, the woman was later shifted to another hospital where she was informed that her sigmoid colon was perforated during the earlier surgery.
The court noted that even though the woman had decided to go ahead with the treatment at an age of 43 years, the doctors should have discouraged her to go ahead with the pregnancy plans. Even otherwise, the Doctors should have taken extra caution while performing the surgery to find out whether adhesions were properly removed & whether any injury was caused to other body parts, during the course of surgery.
Even though the defendants argued that the woman had failed to disclose her previous medical history which had resulted in the condition, the court found that there was negligence on the part of the hospital authorities also.
In all probability the sigmoid perforation was the cause of apparent negligence on the part of the fourth defendant while performing adhesiolysis. It is not as though the defendants especially the fourth defendant did not aware of the plaintiff’s past medical & surgery history. Defendants had taken unnecessary risk & in the process, risked the life of plaintiff
The court noted that the hospital was liable to compensate the woman for pain & suffering & the permanent disablement caused to her. Thus, the court directed the defendants to pay the woman a compensation ₹40 lakh with an annual interest of 12 percent from the date of plaint till the date of decree at the rate of six percent per annum from the date of decree till the date of realisation.
These repeated surgeries had affected enormously the plaintiff’s health causing her lot of pain & untold sufferings during the period of treatment. Possibly, plaintiff could never give childbirth again; she suffered other disabilities related to repeated surgeries. Thus, defendants are liable to compensate plaintiff for the pain & sufferings & disablement caused to her
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY YAKSHU JINDAL.