Indian News

Medical negligence: SHRC recommends ₹5 lakh compensation to family of pregnant woman

Source: , Posted On:   22 January 2021

The State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has recommended that the Tamil Nadu government pay a compensation of ₹5 lakh to the family of a pregnant woman, who died after labour, after two nurses assisted the delivery instead of qualified doctors in the Primary Health Centre at Thirukurungudi in Tirunelveli district in June 2019.

SHRC member D. Jayachandran also recommended initiating disciplinary action against the Block Medical Officer Kalaiarasi and Assistant Surgeon Jennifer "over their medical negligence, which caused the death of mother Akila and her stillborn baby."

The Commission also directed the government to issue a suitable direction to the Director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Chennai, to ensure that the Deputy Directors of Health Services are strictly adhering to the instructions issued for safe and quality delivery care in Primary Health Centres.

"If there is any deviation in this issue, suitable action should be taken against the erring medical officers," the SHRC said and added that the government must issue suitable instructions to the Heads of Departments of the Health Department to provide proper training to the medical and paramedical staff at the time of handling pregnant cases throughout the State of Tamil Nadu to prevent such incidents in future.

The Commission had in June 2019 took suo motu cognisance of a media report over the incident about two nurses assisting in the delivery of a woman instead of doctors, which had resulted in the death of the woman and a stillborn. During the hearing of the case, the deceased's husband and respondents presented their contention and the SHRC made the recommendations after perusing both sides of arguments.

"As per Section 437 of the Tamil Nadu Medical Code, the ANM being a maternity assistant can perform the delivery but with the help of the doctor. However, it is the categorical stand of the 1st respondent that ANM failed to inform the doctors and she herself had performed the delivery of the patient," the Commission pointed out.