MEDICAL SUPERINTENDENT ESI HOSPITAL, NEW DELHI V/s. RAM AVADH PAL (REVISION PETITION NO. 613 OF 2007)

ORDER DATED: 24.01.2017

FACTS:

  • The Complainant’s wife in 2001 gave birth to a female child at ESI Hospital and thereafter she underwent the sterilisation operation by Pomeroy’s Method wherein pieces from each of the Fallopian tubes were removed
  • However, when she visited the Hospital for further check up on 26.09.2005, she was found to be carrying advance pregnancy for 32-34 weeks approximately and again delivered the female child
  • It was contended that they are from lower income group and as they could not afford 2nd child, they chose to undergo sterilisation operation. However, the said failure has caused them tremendous mental pain and agony and hence filed a Complaint before the District Forum claiming compensation of Rs.7.5 lakhs
  • The District forum awarded Rs.70,000/- as compensation. The hospital feeling aggrieved by the order of the District Forum approached the National Commission

DOCTORS’ DEFENSE:

  • The doctors contended that no negligence had been committed in performing the sterilisation operation upon the wife of the complainant in the year 2001
  • The Histopathology report also clarified that pieces were cut from both the Fallopian tubes
  • They had used the best available technique available to them for performing the operation and reasonable care and precaution was taken by them to ensure that the pregnancy does not occur again

HELD:

  • The Commission relied on State of Punjab vs. Shiv Ram & Ors. (AIR 2005 SC 3280), in which, the medical literature on the issue had been discussed in great detail, and it was brought out that none of the procedures carried out for sterilisation could guarantee 100% exclusion of pregnancy
  • In the present case, although both Fallopian tubes had been cut, but with the passage of time, there was a possibility that the tubes would have got reconnected in natural course and therefore the doctors cannot be held negligent
  • The National Commission after going through the documents and medical literature, allowed the Petition filed by the Medical Superintendent ESI Hospital as the medical negligence has not been established by any evidence on record

Read here