KEY POINTS

  • The patient was admitted with severe back pain and difficulty passing urine
  • The doctor said the organ was removed in the best interest of the patient
  • The victim's wife then approached a consumer court 

A consumer court in India has ordered a hospital to pay $14,924 as compensation to the family of a man, whose left kidney was removed by a doctor during a procedure to treat kidney stones. The patient died four months after the procedure.

The Indian court delivered the verdict Monday following the complaint of the relatives of Devendrabhai Raval, from the state of Gujarat, reported The Times of India. 

Reports said Raval was admitted to the KMG General Hospital in May 2011 following severe back pain and difficulty passing urine. Doctors diagnosed him with a 14 mm stone in his left kidney. Though he was advised to approach another hospital for the surgery, Raval insisted on undergoing the treatment in the same facility.

According to his family, he was admitted to the hospital for surgery on Sept. 3, 2011. However, to the family's shock, they learned from the doctor that Raval's left kidney had been removed during the procedure. When questioned, the doctor informed the family it was done in the "best interest of the patient."

Since then, the patient began to experience severe health problems. He couldn't pass urine, following which his condition deteriorated. Raval's family took him to another hospital in the city of Ahmedabad for advanced treatment, but he succumbed to renal complications on Jan. 8, 2012. 

Raval's widow Minaben then filed a complaint against the hospital in a consumer court, which ordered the hospital, doctor and the insurer to pay the family compensation for medical negligence. However, the hospital filed an appeal with a higher court. 

But, the higher court ruled in favor of the family, saying their consent was just for the removal of stone and not for the removal of the organ.

"The employer is responsible not only for his own acts of commission and omission but also for the negligence of its employees so long as the act occurs within the course and scope of the employment," the court said. 

In a similar incident, a woman had died after doctors accidentally left a piece of cotton inside her body during a cesarean section. The woman, a 20-year-old mother of one, died following a year-long battle with infection caused by the material that remained undetected inside her abdomen. She had delivered her second child, a stillborn, days before she died.

surgery Representation. Photo: Pixabay