The apex consumer commission has directed two Himachal Pradesh-based doctors to pay Rs 10 lakh to the family of a woman, who died after they performed an “unwanted” operation removing her uterus in a “haste” 13 years ago.
The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) bench headed by Justice J M Malik asked surgeon R K Chaudhary and gynaecologist Veena Chaudhary to pay the money to the family members of victim Usha Kumari who died in July 2003.
“… It is pertinent to note that opposite party (OP) 1 is a surgeon whereas OP 2 is a gynaecologist. In a haste and in pretext of menorrhagia and fibroid, they decided to perform Total Abdominal Hysterectomy (TAH), an operation for removal of uterus.
“In fact, patient was suffering from abdominal pain therefore, approached OP (the doctors). Patient was not properly examined by the OP, but directly jumped into the diagnosis of fibroid uterus,” the commission said.
“Unwanted TAH surgery further aggravated pancreatis, which was fatal in the instant case. Therefore, it was the failure and the negligence of OP 1,” it said.
The commission’s order came while allowing an appeal of the victim’s kin against the decision of a state consumer commission which had dismissed their plea.
In its order, the commission noted that at the time of death, the victim was only 37 years old, having two minor children.
According to the complaint, Kumari had initially gone to some other hospital in the area and later consulted the Kangra-based nursing home where she was asked by the doctors to undergo ultrasonography on June 17, 2003.
On July 7, 2003, both the doctors conducted TAH operation for removal of uterus, the complaint said.
It added that she was not given anesthesia during the operation and her condition started deteriorating.
She was then taken to a government hospital where she died on July 16, 2003, due to acute blood loss.
The family filed a complaint before a district consumer forum in this regard alleging negligence on the part of both the doctors and sought a compensation of Rs 10 lakh.
The district forum dismissed the plea and the family filed an appeal before the state commission which was also rejected.
Both the doctors, however, denied any negligence on their part.