Understanding Medical Outcomes: NCDRC Clarifies Unsuccessful Treatment and Differing Opinions

( NCDRC )The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, chaired by Mr. Binoy Kumar, recently made a significant ruling. They dismissed a complaint against Medanta Hospital, asserting that merely experiencing an adverse outcome from treatment or facing a difference in professional opinions doesn’t necessarily constitute negligence on the part of medical professionals. The commission emphasized that as long as medical practitioners are adhering to accepted standards of practice, they cannot be deemed negligent solely based on such circumstances.


The complainant’s spouse underwent a pacemaker implantation procedure at Medanta Hospital (Opposite Party 1) as per the doctor’s (Opposite Party 2) recommendation. Despite prior disclosure of the patient’s stroke risk and Pradaxa medication, the doctor discontinued Pradaxa for 48 hours post-surgery. Upon insistence, the complainant was only allowed ICU access after settling the bills, discovering the patient unconscious and unattended, having suffered a severe stroke. Alleging the hospital’s negligence in restarting Pradaxa promptly and overall misconduct, the complainant holds them accountable for the resulting paralysis. Subsequently, the patient contracted a pacemaker infection due to unsanitary conditions, prompting the complainant to file a complaint with the National Commission.


The hospital and the doctor firmly refuted any allegations of negligence, asserting that the patient received appropriate care in line with her clinical requirements and established protocols. They highlighted the patient’s medical history, emphasizing that the stroke was not attributable to their actions but rather marked her fourth occurrence, promptly addressed by medical staff. The discontinuation and subsequent resumption of Pradaxa were communicated to the complainant, who is a cardiologist, along with pre-operative tests affirming the patient’s suitability for the pacemaker procedure. Post-operative care adhered to standard protocols, with the patient initially showing expected signs of recovery. However, a sudden stroke necessitated urgent intervention, including an endovascular mechanical thrombectomy, which proved successful, leading to the patient’s stable discharge following recovery from the stroke.


The Commission reviewed the case thoroughly and found that the primary argument suggesting that the stroke was a result of the non-administration of Pradaxa lacked support from expert opinion provided by AIIMS. According to AIIMS, there was no delay in administering Pradaxa after the pacemaker implantation. Although the patient experienced a stroke while being discharged from the ICU, swift action was taken by relocating her to the Cardiac Cath Lab for thrombectomy. Subsequently, she was discharged two days later, indicating appropriate care had been provided.

Despite acknowledging the understandable concern of the complainant, who is both the patient’s husband and a cardiologist, the Commission found no evidence linking the stroke to the pacemaker implantation. This conclusion was drawn considering the patient’s chronic condition and medical history. The Commission referenced several Supreme Court case laws, including Jacob Mathew vs. State of Punjab & Anr. (2005), Kusum Sharma & Ors. vs. Batra Hospital & Medical Research Centre & Ors. (2010), Vinod Jain vs. Santokba Durlabhji Memorial Hospital (2019), and Bijoy Sinha Roy vs. Biswanath Das & Ors. (2018), to emphasize that medical professionals cannot be deemed negligent if they act in accordance with accepted medical practices. Mere treatment failure or differences in medical opinion do not constitute negligence under these legal precedents.

The Commission concluded that there was no negligence on the part of the hospital or the doctor involved and consequently dismissed the complaint.

Posted and reproduced in Public Interest by

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