The National Consumer Dispute Resolution Commission (NCDRC) in the case of Dr Ishita Tikkha vs Managing Director, Apollo Cradle and others, has observed that “simple lack of care, an error in judgement or an accident, is not proof of negligence on the part of the medical professional. ” While coming to the rescue of accused doctors the Presiding Officer of the commission dismissed the petition on the ground that firstly, the doctors possessed necessary skills and secondly, reasonable care was taken by them while operating on the twin babies.
Dr Ishita Tikka ( patient) was admitted to Apollo Cradle Hospital, Amritsar. It was a twin pregnancy and one of the twins was diagnosed with “oesophagal atresia’. Dr Miglani performed C section. The petitioner contended that due care was not taken while performing the C-section and forced pre-term twin delivery was done by putting high risk to the newborn twins at a. The conditions were unhygienic due to which the babies developed pneumonia and septicemia. The twins were shifted to another hospital in critical condition and one of the twins died because of an infection. It was contended by the opposing party that the patient herself being a doctor did not follow the pre-requisite things. Several steps of medication could have been taken but the patient’s husband refused to consent.
The NCDRC pursued all the records and observed that when one of the twins was diagnosed with cardiac defects and anatomical malformations, instead of giving consent for better treatment and care, the family members started to point out defects in the opposing party. The commission relied on the judgement given in the case of Chanda Rani Akhouri vs M.S. Methusethupathi Mithupathi, in which it was held that Liability would only come if:
- Either a person (doctor) did not possess the requisite skills in the branch of the profession;
- Or, he did not exercise with reasonable competence in the given case the skill which he did possess.
Hence, The treating doctors and the Hospital were absolved of any liabilities.