Doctors’ misleading ads upset apex consumer forum
New Delhi: The country's apex consumers'
grievance redressal forum has expressed grave concern over
cases of doctors luring patients with "misleading" claims to
treat incurable diseases and has held that such assurances
amount to rendering deficient service.
The apex consumer body expressed its worries while
dismissing a plea by two medical practitioners, challenging a
Kerala consumer forum order asking them to pay a compensation
of Rs 1 lakh to a person for misguiding him on his son's
cancer treatment, eventually leading to the youngster's death.
"The case presents a disturbing situation in as much as
an ayurvedic practitioner and an MBBS doctor had held out to
the public at large through print media that they have the
skill to treat the cancerous tumour of children," the National
Consumer Dispute Redressal Grievance Commission observed in
its order, dismissing the two doctors' plea.
"The compensation of Rs 1,00,000 only, in the opinion of
this Commission is quite just and reasonable and is neither
excessive nor harsh," Commission member R C Jain said.
The Commission passed the order on a joint plea by
Kerala-based ayurvedic practitioner, Dr Kunhalan Gurukkal and
medical practitioner Dr Firdous Iqbal, challenging the state
forum's order directing them to pay the compensation to A M
Muhammed, the complainant.
The Kerala consumer commission had ordered the two
doctors to pay the compensation for misguiding Muhammed, whose
21-year-old son had been suffering from osteosacoma (a cancer
of the bone) and was undergoing treatment at the Regional
Cancer Centre, Thiruvananthapuram.
The cancer centre has advised the patient to undergo
amputation of leg in order to save his life.
It was at this juncture that Muhammed noticed the
advertisement by the two doctors, claiming that they can treat
cancer and took his son to them.
But the doctors were able to do precious little beyond
administering the patient with some ineffective drugs, letting
his plight to worsen further and leading to his eventual
Aggrieved, Muhammad approached the state forum seeking
compensation of Rs 6 lakh from the two doctors for unfair
trade practices and deficiency in service.