Kerala Couple Awarded ₹16 Lakh Compensation For Son's Death Due To Medical Negligence In 1998 By TAPS Hospital

Kerala Couple Awarded ₹16 Lakh Compensation For Son's Death Due To Medical Negligence In 1998 By TAPS Hospital

The couple moved several commissions, seeking justice. Finally the case reached the National Commission through an appeal filed against the State Commission’s orders.

Pranali LotlikarUpdated: Saturday, May 25, 2024, 01:27 AM IST
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A couple from Kerala had to wait 26 years to prove that their only son died due to medical negligence by Tarapur Atomic Power Station (TAPS) Hospital run by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India. Observing that it was the collective negligence on part of the hospital represented by its medical superintendent, the National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission has directed the hospital to pay the family a compensation of Rs16 lakh along with 9% interest from the date of demise in August 1998.

Haridasan Pillai and his wife Chandrika had admitted their only son Harish to TAPS Hospital on August 12, 1998 as he was running a high fever. The duty doctor examined him and took his blood and urine samples for investigation. The couple realised there was no improvement in Harish’s condition, and they kept requesting the doctors to refer him to BARC, Trombay, but it was refused, even though their son was battling for life. 

After realising that Harish’s health was deteriorating, on August 16, 1998, the hospital referred him to BARC Hospital, where doctors found that his kidneys had stopped functioning and there was an acute respiratory problem. Due to lack of facilities, he was further referred to Jaslok Hospital, where he died.

The couple moved several commissions, seeking justice. Finally the case reached the National Commission through an appeal filed against the State Commission’s orders. The hospital denied the allegations and said that standard line of treatment was adopted, with various qualified doctors treating the patient and conducting the necessary tests that turned out normal. Later, urgent investigations were advised, which suggested acute renal failure and impending septicaemia, resulting in referral to BARC Hospital.

The commission termed the case “nothing short of serious medical negligence”. “It is not my contention that doctors should have given some other treatment; it is my contention that this hospital was just not equipped to handle such a situation… The expert opinion of the hospital is, in my opinion, nothing more than covering up the mistake committed by TAPS Hospital and its administration,” the commission held.

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