PRE-PRINTED & FIXED FORMS TO RECORD PATIENTS’ CONSENT SHOWS THE ADMINISTRATIVE ARBITRARINESS OF THE HOSPITAL: SAYS NCDRC

While dismissing a complaint of medical negligence against R G Stone Urology and Leproscopy hospital, Delhi and its doctor, Dr. Anil Varshney, the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC)’s bench comprising Dr. S.M. Kantikar and Dinesh Singh has held that under Section 2(1) (r) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, the use of fixed “informed consent cum undertaking” by the hospitals to record consent from the patient is beyond doubt a practice of administrative arbitrariness.

The Commission stated that the uniform use of the pre-printed and fixed “informed consent cum undertaking” by the hospitals will help them gain an undue advantage and it amounts to unfair trade practice.

The Commission observed that as the forms are pre-printed and fixed, they could be misused by filling up spaces left blank after making handwritten entries which take limited space.

The Commission noted , “We but note that a pre-printed and fixed ‘informed consent cum undertaking’ form, with blank spaces for limited select handwritten entries and for the signatures has been used. The main body of the form is pre-printed and fixed. It can fit into any procedure, any doctor, and any patient, after filling up the blank spaces for the limited select handwritten entries and getting/affixing the signatures. We note this to be administrative arbitrariness and one-sided high handedness, and to be unfair and deceptive, on the part of the opposite party no. 1 (hospital), for which, though, the complainant has not been prejudiced in this particular case.”

The Commission directed the Hospital to deposit Rs. 10 Lakhs in the Consumer Legal Aid Account of the Commission within four weeks. The hospital was also directed to discontinue its said unfair trade practice immediately.

Case Name– Vinod Khanna v. R G Stone Urology and Leproscopy hospital & 2 Ors.

Consumer Case No.– 428 of 2018

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