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Times of India
03 Aug 2011
By, Shreya Roy Chowdhury
New Delhi, India

Doctor to Pay 15L Damages for Failed IVF Process
A senior consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist has been slammed with damages worth Rs 15 lakh plus interest for a failed IVF process in 1999.

“Motherhood is one of the strongest female urges and deprivation thereof comes as a great setback and disappointment bringing about frustration of life in its wake,” said the judgment passed by the Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission on July 28.

Archana (named changed), 35, at the time of registering the complaint over 10 years ago, had gone to Dr M Kochar of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Rajinder Nagar, after two failed pregnancies. Both had been ectopic in nature – tubal pregnancy in which a fertile egg is implanted in the fallopian tube instead of the uterus. She had already undergone two surgeries before going to Kochar in March 1999.

Archana claimed that during the process, all medicines were administered by the nurses or lab technicians and she rarely ever saw Kochar. She said that during the embryo transfer (ET), she was informed by Kochar that she had developed an infection. Kochar allegedly continued with the ET despite Archana asking her to stop the process. Archana did not conceive and alleged that negligence on the gynaecologist’s part resulted in failure of the IVF procedure, a conclusion the consumer commission upheld.

“It appears to us from the facts and circumstances that the complainant was not taken into confidence and the care and attention which should be given to a patient were not given by Dr M Kochar. She was throughout indifferent and uncaring and the allegation in this regard from the side of the complainant seems correct,” said the judgment.

The case had been referred to the medical board of Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital for an opinion. It reported: “The success rate of IVF–ET as per international standard is 13.4% in women less than 35 years of age and 3.6% in women about 35 years. The failure of IVF–ET in this case is in conforming with the international standard.”

“These are general summary observations by the Board before whom all matters were not placed and even a copy of the complaint was not produced, and who have not given any reason and have not displaced the complaints of the complainant,” said the judgment in response.

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