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Hospital, doctor penalised for foetus test goof-up

A consumer disputes redress forum has ordered a private hospital in Rishra and its resident radiologist to pay Rs 1.2 lakh to a woman who, in 2007, had been wrongly advised to undergo an abortion because the child she was carrying had “no heart motion”.

Reshmi Parveen had moved the forum after she went ahead with her pregnancy and gave birth to a healthy boy.

Parveen, a lawyer at Serampore court, had undergone an ultrasound scan of her lower abdomen at Rishra Sevasadan in January 2007, after experiencing protracted abdominal pain.

The report, signed by radiologist Urmi Choudhury, said the child she was carrying had “no heart motion” and recommended an abortion.

After prolonged discussions, Reshmi and her husband Mujibar Rahman, also a lawyer, decided not to abort the child and go ahead with the pregnancy. In September, she gave birth to a healthy boy.

The couple then moved the Hooghly District Consumer Disputes Redress Forum against the radiologist and the hospital.

On Tuesday, the forum ordered the radiologist and the hospital to pay Rs 1 lakh to Reshmi for the “unbearable mental stress” she had to undergo because of a lapse on their part.

The forum also ordered them to pay an additional sum of Rs 20,000 as compensation for the prolonged time spent by her to fight the case.

If the amount is not paid in a month, a nine per cent interest would be added each month to the total sum of Rs 1.2 lakh.

“I have not received a copy of the order yet. I can only comment after I see it,” Choudhury told Metro.

Dipak Sarkar, the secretary of Rishra Sevasadan and the CPM zonal committee secretary of Rishra, said: “What can we do? We have to pay the amount because the forum has ordered us to do so. But the main culprit was the radiologist. She has not been reporting to work for many days now.”

“I am very happy with the verdict,” said Parveen. “I cannot describe the unbearable mental stress I had to go through because of the report.”