A district consumer commission dismissed a complaint from a Juhu resident, stating that he failed to provide expert opinions to support his raised averments regarding medical treatment. The commission questioned how he could label the procedures and medications as unwanted without proper expert analysis. The complainant had filed the complaint after his 92-year-old mother passed away in a hospital where she was receiving treatment. He accused the hospital of providing aggressive treatment and raised concerns about the chosen line of treatment. The commission noted that while the complainant raised several questions, he did not provide any expert answers. Without expert opinions, the commission stated that it could not agree with the complainant's assertion that the lack of discussion about the treatment or procedures could be considered deficiency of service or unfair trade practice.
Complaint of aggressive treatment without proper communication
The order, dated May 18 (recently uploaded), was issued by Shraddha Jalanapurkar and Preethi Chamikutty, members of the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Mumbai Suburban. The order pertained to a complaint filed by Sudipto Ghosal, a resident of JVPD, against the management of Bhartiya Arogya Nidhi, Sheth Kantilal C. Parikh General Hospital (through the medical superintendent), Juhu, and the Maharashtra Medical Council (through its president).
Ghosal filed the complaint with the commission, alleging aggressive treatment without proper communication for his 92-year-old mother. His mother passed away on March 8, 2011. Ghosal took his ailing mother to the Out Patient Department (OPD) at 4 am on March 3, 2011, as she had a fever of 103°F, breathlessness, and her heart was functioning at 25%. The Resident Medical Officer (RMO) consulted senior doctors, and she was transferred to the Intensive Coronary Care Unit (ICCU). Ghosal claimed that he was not informed about the consulting physician or the medications that would be administered. He further alleged that the hospital appointed a doctor without giving him a choice, as his mother's regular physician was not on the panel of doctors. Ghosal also claimed that no permission was obtained for intubation, ventilation, and the treatment plan was not communicated, nor was the patient's previous allergy history asked. His mother was sedated and eventually fell into a coma.
Complainant alleged unethical practices to extract money
Upon reviewing the bill, Ghosal alleged that the hospital engaged in unethical practices to extract money, administering heavy medications and various drugs in the last two days before his mother's death. Some of these included tablets with high dosages, 96 Lasix injections, saline, and medications for ailments like thyroid, which she never had.
The hospital, on the other hand, stated that the patient had ECG changes and a previous history of cardiac ailments, along with fever and breathlessness. She was treated with infection/malaria and cardiac drugs. The hospital added that initially, the patient responded to Lasix injections and started passing urine at a rate of 15-20 cc per hour. However, despite ionotropic treatment, her blood pressure dropped, making dialysis impossible. The hospital emphasized that not only the complainant but also his family members were present and informed about the treatment. Despite the provided treatment, the hospital stated that the patient's death could only be attributed to an "Act of God," for which no individual or entity could be held liable.
The commission, during the hearing, observed that the hospital had provided treatment, and the patient did show improvement. It stated that, as per the case papers filed on record, multiple reasons had been recorded for the patient's death, including terminal cardiorespiratory failure, septicemia, acute renal failure (ARF), and hypothyroidism. Given the patient's suffering from such varied ailments, it is understood that doctors adopted a dynamic line of treatment, aiming to gain control over various parameters that were spiraling out of control and posing a threat to the patient's life, said the commission. The commission added that it is unknown how the complainant can characterize the procedures performed and medications given as unwanted. It stated that the complainant has not satisfactorily proven his allegations of deficiency of service or unfair trade practice against the hospital, and thus, his plea for a refund could not be substantiated.