A city gynaecologist has been ordered by Delhi State Consumer Commission to pay Rs 5.1 lakh compensation for negligently terminating a 13-week-old pregnancy of a woman, damaging her uterus and necessitating its removal.
The commission asked Dr R R Rana to pay damages to the woman saying he terminated the pregnancy, older than 12 weeks negligently in his private nursing home without having any concurrence from two other doctors, violating the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act.
"In this case the foetus was 13 weeks old when the MTP was done by Dr Rana alone at a private nursing home. There was as such violation of provisions of MTP Act 1971, not only because termination of pregnancy was done in a private nursing home but also because there was no other doctor beside him.
"The violation of the Act makes the doctor prima facie responsible for negligence and we need nothing more to hold him negligent. As will seem, in consequence of negligence of opposite party 1 (Dr Rana), complainant (Pahwa) suffered prolonged illness agony and pain and she must, therefore, be adequately compensated for the same," said the bench also comprising Salma Noor.
"The doctor will therefore pay to the complainant (Kusum Pahwa) a sum of Rs 5 lakh towards compensation including treatment expenditure besides Rs 10,000 as litigation cost,"
the bench added.
Under the MTP Act, a medical practitioner may terminate a pregnancy only if the foetus is less than 12 weeks old and if the foetus is between 12 and 20 weeks old, the doctor may perform the procedure only if two other doctors agree that the termination is required.