Indian News

Tamil Nadu govt. asked to compensate man for child's death

Source: , Posted On:   25 January 2021

5-year-old dies after being administered MR vaccine; panel asks State to pay ₹2 lakh


The State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) on Monday recommended that the Tamil Nadu government pay compensation of ₹2 lakh to the father of the five-year-old girl who died after being administered a vaccine by doctors at the Stanley Medical College Hospital here in May 2018.

SHRC member D. Jayachandran had taken took suo motu cognisance of a media report published on May 5, 2018, about a five-year-old girl, D.G. Thanishka, who died after being administered the Mumps-Rubella (MR) vaccine by doctors at the Institute of Social Paediatrics in the hospital. Later, D. Gopi, the father of the child, appeared before the Commission and filed a proof affidavit against the respondents.

The complainant claimed that his daughter was healthy before taking the MR vaccine. Around 15 minutes after she was administered the vaccine, she fainted and was taken for emergency treatment. Mr. Gopi said he was not allowed to see his daughter. She was declared dead the following day, he added. The complainant lodged a complaint with the Flower Bazaar police station.

Mr. Gopi said his daughter died due to the medical negligence of assistant professor Selvi and the other staff at the hospital. He further sought a compensation of ₹10 lakh and suitable action against the respondents.

The respondents denied the allegations and submitted that the MR vaccine was a multi-dose vial. The vaccine was given to 20 other children on the same day. Except for Thanishka, all the other children were healthy and had no complications, they said. On examination, the five-year-old was healthy and no contraindications due to the vaccination were found, they added. Hence, the vaccine was given according to government policy, they added.

The respondents said the vaccines were supplied only by the Central government through the State government, and they strictly follow the rules and regulations.

After hearing arguments from both sides and perusing documents, the Commission said it was clear from the material on record that the adverse event followed the immunisation.

“However, it is not in dispute that the child died due to pulmonary edema with pneumonitis and acute tubular injury of the kidneys. But the respondent has not produced any document to show that the child died due to an individual immune response to the vaccine. Further, the respondent has not produced any document to show the records pertaining from January 2018 to December 2018, though they have vaccinated 428 children with the MR vaccine, except of the deceased child D.G. Thanishka,” the Commission said.

Considering the records available on hand and also the report of the Director of Medical Education (DME), Chennai, it was categorically established that the deceased child died after taking the MR vaccination at the government hospital, the Commission added.

“Therefore, the death of the deceased child D.G. Thanishka caused irreparable loss and much mental agony to the complainant on this aspect. Therefore, considering the pathetic situation and also on humanitarian grounds, on behalf of the respondents, the Government of Tamil Nadu is vicariously liable to pay compensation to the victim child’s father/complainant. Therefore, this Commission is of the opinion that a sum of ₹2 lakh to the victim’s father should be awarded to him,” the Commission added.