In a landmark ruling, the Supreme Court of India has doubled the compensation awarded to a patient who suffered medical negligence at Manipal Hospital, resulting in hoarseness of voice. The patient, now deceased, had initially claimed Rs. 18 lakhs in compensation for the botched operation. However, the District Forum had only awarded Rs. 5 lakhs without providing adequate justification for the amount.

The bench, consisting of Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah, found the District Forum’s assessment lacking, stating that it failed to consider various aspects necessary for determining rightful compensation. The court highlighted the hospital’s breach of duty in delegating a critical task to a trainee anaesthetist, which led to the paralysis of the patient’s left vocal cord. This occurred due to the faulty insertion of a Double Lumen Tube during anesthesia administration.

The appellant patient further argued that the ailment caused him to be deprived of job promotions, resulting in him continuing in the same position from 2003 until his passing in 2015. Despite the hospital’s defense, citing medical literature to justify their actions, the court emphasized the hospital’s responsibility to ensure proper procedures, especially in critical situations.

As a result, the Supreme Court directed Manipal Hospital to increase the compensation from Rs. 5 lakhs to Rs. 10 lakhs, along with simple interest at a rate of 10% per annum from the date of the claim petition filing until the amount is paid. This decision marks a significant victory for victims of medical negligence and underscores the importance of holding healthcare institutions accountable for their actions.

The ruling serves as a reminder to hospitals and medical professionals to prioritize patient safety and adhere to established protocols, especially during sensitive procedures such as anesthesia administration. It also reaffirms the judiciary’s commitment to ensuring justice for individuals who suffer harm due to medical malpractice.

The case highlights the need for thorough investigations and considerations in determining appropriate compensation for victims of medical negligence. The court’s decision to double the compensation reflects a recognition of the severity of the patient’s suffering and the long-term consequences of the hospital’s negligence.

Moving forward, it is imperative for hospitals to implement stringent protocols and oversight mechanisms to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. Additionally, patients must be empowered to seek legal recourse and receive fair compensation for any harm or injury caused by medical negligence.

The Supreme Court’s verdict sets a precedent for future cases involving medical malpractice, emphasizing the importance of accountability and justice in the healthcare system. It sends a clear message that negligence will not be tolerated, and victims will be rightfully compensated for their suffering.

In conclusion, the Supreme Court’s decision to double the compensation in the medical negligence case against Manipal Hospital underscores the judiciary’s commitment to upholding patient rights and holding healthcare institutions accountable. It serves as a crucial step towards ensuring justice for victims of medical malpractice and promoting patient safety in the healthcare sector.

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