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Charitable hospital

New Delhi: A charitable hospital and its surgeon came under fire for removing a kidney of a patient without her consent during an operation. It was ordered to pay Rs 1,00,000 in compensation. "It is a clear case of malpractice by removing a kidney without consent thereby causing the complainant undue hardship. It leaves the patient with only one kidney and it will become life-threatening for her if it starts malfunctioning," Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum chaired by K K Chopra observed. Besides the compensation, the forum directed Tirath Ram Shah Charitable Hospital and surgeon R Yadav to reimburse Rs 97,344 in medical expenses to the complainant who had also approached the Deputy Commissioner of Police and the chairman of the Medical Council of India to take action against the hospital.

BACKGROUND —Santosh Bhardwaj, a resident of Ghoga village in Delhi, visited the hospital on February 13, 2002 complaining of severe pain in her right kidney. Yadav prescribed various medical tests. On seeing the results, he advised her to undergo a minor operation. Bhardwaj was operated upon a few days later and discharged in March 2002.However, she suffered from the same pain even at the time of discharge and had to repeatedly visit Yadav. Finally, she consulted specialists in Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. Much to her shock, doctors there revealed that her right kidney had been removed during the surgery.
HOSPITAL SAYS —The hospital claimed to have obtained the consent of the patient. It submitted that this operation was performed as a ‘life-saving measure’ and presented before the court a document signed by the patient’s husband Pawan Kumar.
CONSUMER FORUM Says —The forum said that the document on which Kumar had signed was written in English and its contents were not explained to Kumar, who is illiterate. It noted that the document did not authorise the doctors to remove the kidney.