The medical law reporter for Indian Doctors
Advertise with Medknow
Click here to view April 2016 issue as eBook Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size Print this article Email this article Bookmark this page



    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

    Suggested precautions
    Facts of the case
    Patient's allega...
    Doctor's defense
    Findings of the ...

 Article Comments
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal


Table of Contents   
Year : 2008  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 78
Patient's right over organs/cysts/tumors/aspirated fluids removed from his/her body

   Suggested precautions 
In case any organs/cysts/tumors/aspirated fluids, especially a healthy organ, is removed from the patient's body, it is advisable to show the same to the patient/attendants/relatives/friends and take their acknowledgment and then send the same for histopathological examination. Preserve this acknowledgment as well as pathological report of the organ/tissue in the medical records of the patient.

   Facts of the case Top

The patient's pregnancy was one month old. She sought to get the pregnancy terminated by tubectomy. An ovarian cyst was removed during the operation. The patient demanded the removed ovarian cyst, but the same was not given to her. The patient was discharged against medical advice. Laboratory report/histopathology report stating that "Folliculars cyst with chronic, nonspecific inflammatory pathology" was received by the gynecologist (OP) a few days after the discharge of the patient and the same was duly recorded in the patient's medical records.

   Patient's allegation/s of medical negligence Top

  • It was alleged that although the patient demanded the ovarian cyst that was removed, the same was not given.
  • It was alleged that the patient's right ovary was removed not for any medical reason but to inflate bill on the false pretext that the operation was performed for the removal of ovarian cyst.

   Doctor's defense Top

  • In defense it was stated that the cystic ovary was sent to a modern computerized laboratory for its histopathology test and this fact was disclosed to the patient at the time of discharge.
  • It was stated that since no X-ray or ultrasound was performed before the operation, the complications of ovarian cyst could not have been known. It was stated that the patient's tube was found to be badly fixed with ovarian cyst, and hence the gynecologist (OP) decided to remove the diseased ovarian cyst. But before doing so, she explained this to the patient's husband who gave his consent for its removal and signed in token of giving consent for the same.

   Findings of the court Top

  • The court opined that as a major surgery was performed, the gynecologist (OP) was duty bound to get the ovarian cyst appropriately tested, to assess its nature and effect. Hence, there was no question of handing over ovarian cyst to the patient, although the same was demanded.
  • The court observed that merely by touching the body of the patient, the gynecologist (OP) could not have diagnosed the existence of ovarian cyst. The court believed in the gynecologist (OP) that the tube was badly fixed with the ovary which was cystic and diseased and hence removed in the interest of the patient, after taking proper consent from her husband.
  • Hence the court held that the gynecologist (OP) was not negligent.