Question of the Week

Question :
Posted On : 14 May 2020
a government hospital ultrasonologist gave an
opinion of appenticitis after usg abdomen.surgeon explained the pt about the surgery .patient went to other doctor on repeat ultrasond it was reported as ureteric stone.patient file a case in consumer forum stating that due to wrong usg report he has suffered mentally and he could have been operated due to wrong report.the court fined both the surgeon and the sonologist.please give your opinion is this judgement correct_?
Expert Answer :
This appears to be a case of difference of opinion. In legal cases it much depends upon how one pleads and conducts his case, which will determine outcome. Before giving opinion I would like to read full length judgment as given to party. I any case I can discuss the medical negligence by three bench judges of supreme court and shall prevail till larger bench of supreme court interferes with the crux and quotes of these judgments. This is what needs to be included in pleadings and arguments of each doctor if one wants to steer clear from allegations of negligence

In Indian medical association vs. V.P. Shantha and ors. decided by three judge bench of Agrawal, S.C. {J}, Kuldip Singh {J}, Hansaria B.L. {J}, 1996 AIR 550, 1995 SCC {6} 651 JT 1995 {8} 119, 1995 SCALE {6}273
Judges quote ….. According to Rupert M. Jackson and John L. Powell the occupations which are regarded as professions have four characteristics, viz.,
i} The nature of the work which is skilled and specialized and a substantial part is mental rather than manual`
ii} Commitment to moral principles which go beyond the general duty of honesty and a wider duty to community which may transcend the duty to a particular client or patient`
iii} Professional association which regulates admission and seeks to uphold the standards of the profession through professional codes on matters of conduct and ethics` and
iv} High status in the community.

In my opinion if the case can be argued well after filing appeal showing difference of opinion is not a negligence. case in support is
Opposite party-hospital, on diagnosis found that the complainant had single vessel disease but on the contrary, it was diagnosed by another hospital that he had severe triple vessel coronary disease, and accordingly he had undergone by-pass surgery. The complainant alleged that wrong diagnosis and consequent treatment amounted to deficiency in service on the part of the opposite party.

Held: Diagnosis is nothing but forming an opinion on examination of the patients suffering from a disease. Diagnosis may consist of physical as well as mechanical examination. Only on such examination, the opinion is formed as to the disease from which the patient is suffering. The opinion formed or diagnosed may vary from one medical expert to another medical expert just like the difference of opinion as expressed by the Lawyer regarding the factual matrix in the light of legal provisions. Only on the diagnosis, treatment is given. As respects wrong diagnosis and consequent treatment given, on occasions more than one, superior Forums had expressed, cannot at all amount to negligence or deficiency in service on the part of such professional.

Dr. Mahesh Baldwa,
M.D,D.C.H,LL.B,LL.M , Ph. D{law},FIAP
Answer Discussion :
Owina Akarenuhon
He should have a third opinion and file against the wrong person
4 years ago
santosh ramaswamy
it could have been an appendicolith
4 years ago
santosh ramaswamy
if the initial usg had clear findings suggestive of ac appendecites .then an incidental findings of uretric stone might not be significant.if the surgeon clinically was sure its appendecites then a surgical intervention is justified.
4 years ago
faFayez Abosaad
Yes it is
4 years ago
shrinil gandhi
one can not miss ureteric stone
he might have undergone appendicecyomy unnecessarily
surgeon should have examined him physically & atleast should have ruled out appendicitis

4 years ago

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