Sucheta Dalal :CERS Case : Commission Penalises 2 Doctors For Death of Patient
Sucheta Dalal

Click here for FREE MEMBERSHIP to Moneylife Foundation which entitles you to:
• Access to information on investment issues

• Invitations to attend free workshops on financial literacy
• Grievance redressal


You are here: Home » What's New » CERS Case : Commission Penalises 2 Doctors For Death of Patient
                       Previous           Next

CERS Case : Commission Penalises 2 Doctors For Death of Patient  

February 22, 2006



Ref. : ER/Press/’06/Santram.6/DG

CERS Case : Commission Penalises 2 Doctors For Death of Patient


In a case filed by Consumer Education and Research Society (CERS), Ahmedabad, along with Mr. Rakesh Chandra Dave of Nadiad and his minor son, Harsh, the Gujarat State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has held Dr. Jitendra Patel, surgeon, Santram Hospital, Petlad, and Dr. Mohenish I. Patel, radiologist, Anand, guilty of negligence leading to the death of Rakesh’s wife Anjanaben and the foetus she carried.


The Commission ordered the two doctors to pay jointly and severally to Rakesh Rs. 6,20,000 with 6 per cent interest from the date of complaint till payment. It also ordered them to pay Rs. 10,000 each to CERS and Rakesh towards cost.


The facts of the case are that on 7 February 1996 Anjanaben visited Dr. Prakash R. Modi, MD, Gynecologist, Prabhulal Modi Hospital, Petlad, for a pregnancy check-up. On his instruction, Dr. Mohenish Patel carried out sonography the next day. A week later, her blood and urine were also tested at the Santram Laboratory, Nadiad. The reports showed 8 weeks of pregnancy and a huge cyst over the uterus extending around the umbilicus. Dr. Modi suggested that the cyst be removed to save the foetus.


On 22 February 1996, Dr. Modi called senior surgeon Dr. Jitendra Patel, M.S., Santram Hospital. After the operation, Dr. Modi informed Rakesh that the upper portion of the mesenteric cyst was operated but the lower portion would be removed later as the cyst was very big. However, after the operation, the patient regained consciousness and complained of severe pain in the abdomen and was not able to pass urine.


Despite Dr. Modi administering her medicine, because of her fast deteriorating condition, she was removed to the Muljibhai Patel Urological Hospital, Nadiad, the next day. There Dr. Rajapurkar pointed out that due to negligence of the operating doctors, the only functional kidney was removed.


Anjanaben was on dialysis for some time. Finally, renal transplantation was also done on her and her father donated his kidney for the purpose. After periodic readmissions to and releases from hospital, Anjanaben died in hospital on 21 December 1996, about 10 months after her pregnancy check-up.


During the course of submissions, Rakesh and Dr. Modi negotiated for settlement and Dr. Modi agreed to pay Rs. 1,91,000 on the basis of ‘No fault liability’. Rakesh exonerated Dr. Modi on payment of Rs. 1,91,000 from the liability that might arise out of this case.


Referring to Dr. Jitendra Patel, the Commission observed that he is stated to be an experienced general surgeon and is expected to know the location of the cyst and the location of the kidney. The patient was in his hands. he was not under the supervision of Dr. Modi. "What was removed was the functional kidney and not the cyst.


"Radiologist Dr. Mohenish Patel, the Commission said, was expected to know the position of the kidney of the patient. Apparently, even the patient’s husband did not know that only one kidney of his wife was functional. The radiologist could detect this but appears to "have missed this vital aspect of the rendition of his expert service. His reports clearly appear to have misdirected the first opponent (Dr. Prakash Modi) in reaching the conclusion".


Mr. Justice M. S. Parikh presided over the Commission and Mr. Dr. Jatin P. Vaidya was the Member. Mr. Rajiv Mehta represented the complainants and Mr. H. M. Parekh appeared for Dr. Modi.


Date : 21 February 2006                                                     Pritee Shah

Place : Ahmedabad                                                        Editor - INSIGHT




"Suraksha Sankool", Thaltej, Ahmedabad-Gandhinagar Highway, Ahmedabad 380054 (INDIA)


Phone: 079-27489945-46, 27450528, 30121001-2-3

Fax: 079-27489947

Email: [email protected]


-- Sucheta Dalal