A Madras High Court Bench of Justice SM Subramaniam has refused to grant relief to a mother who was alleging medical negligence, on the grounds that doctors should take decisions and continue treatment by following medical protocol. Further, it was held that "High Court cannot interfere with the opinion of the medical experts by acting as an expert body which is not desirable and it will lead to excess exercise of powers of judicial review conferred under Article 226 of the Constitution of India".

Counsel PG Thiyagu appeared for the petitioner. AAG P Kumaresan, among others, appeared for the respondents.

In this case, the petitioner was pregnant and was taking treatment at the Primary Health Centre. She submitted that her child's health deteriorated owing to the negligence of the doctors at the Health Centre, who had failed to perform an anomaly scan at 18 weeks of pregnancy. It was also contended that timely treatments were not provided to the petitioner and to her child.

The Court observed that "The nature of treatment provided to the mother and the child cannot be questioned in a writ proceedings, since the High Court cannot act as an expert body with reference to the medical terminology and expert opinion of the speciality Doctors for treating patients are final unless the contrary is proved. Trial natured proceedings cannot be undertaken in writ proceedings under Article 226 of the Constitution of India."

The Court also noted that a committee of Speciality Doctors had already examined the child and suggested treatments. In light of the same, it was observed that "the petitioner cannot expect anything more from the Government Hospitals, wherein large number of patients are treated at free of cost and pertinently all the patients are to be treated equally, which is a Constitutional mandate".

In light of the same, the Court disposed of the petition. No orders as to costs.

Cause Title: K Mubeena Banu v. Tamil Nadu Health & Family Welfare Department & Ors.

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