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Landmark decision by Court – “A Woman becoming pregnant after 4 years of Sterilisation operation, cannot be attributed as Medical Negligence, as no such operation guarantees 100% result, “

“A Woman becoming pregnant after 4 years of Sterilisation operation, cannot be attributed as Medical Negligence, as no such operation guarantees 100% result, ”

and it saved Doctors from paying Rs.7.5 Lakhs

MEDICAL SUPERINTENDENT ESI HOSPITAL, NEW DELHI V/s. RAM AVADH PAL, REVISION PETITION NO. 613 OF 2007, decided on 24/01/2017)

Facts in brief :
1. The Wife of the Complainant – Respondent gave birth to a female child at ESI Hospital in the year 2001 and at the same time she underwent the sterilisation operation by Pomeroy’s Method wherein pieces from each of the Fallopian tubes were removed.

2. 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. !

3. It was cobtnded that they are from lower income group and as they could not afford 2nd child, therefore they choose to undergo sterilisation operation , but now said failure has caused them tremendous mental pain and agony. Thus the Compliant for Rs.7.5 lakhs was filed. But the Lower forum awarded Rs.70,000/- as compensation and hence the Hospital feeling aggrieved thereby approached national commission.

Doctors’ Defense :
1. there had been no negligence on the part of the doctors at their Hospital in performing the sterilisation operation upon the wife of the complainant in the year 2001.
2.The Histopathology report clarifies that pieces were cut from both the Fallopian tubes

Held :
1. The National Commission after going through the documents and medical literature, allowed the Revision Application.

2. It relied “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. and the COMPENSATION CAN BE AWARDED ONLY IF FAILURE TO OPERATION IS ATTRIBUTABLE TO NEGLIGENCE DOCTORS. BURDEN OF PROOF LIES ON THE CLAIMANT.

3. 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 after 4 years from the Operation, Doctors cannot be held negligent, as it has not been proved at all, if any. Moreover it was observed that, if they could not afford the 2nd child, then why there were no efforts for MTP ? ,

A Good judgment indeed. Was the case field to extract money to feed the “poor family” ? Its unbelievable that the lady became aware of her 2nd pregnancy in the 32-24 weeks ! Proper documentation has once again saved Drs…..

 

Adv. Rohit Erande

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