A resident of Amritsar has filed an FIR against the oncology department of Max Superspeciality Hospital, Saket, in south Delhi, alleging negligence after he was operated upon for cancer and reconstructive plastic surgery, only to learn later that he did not have cancer at all.
Max Hospital has denied the allegations and said it will cooperate with the authorities in the course of the investigations and defend itself against any charges that are brought against it.
Amritsar resident Rahul Talwar was first told he was suffering from cancer by the Mumbai-based Metropolis Healthcare.
Talwar has lodged a first information report (FIR) against the doctors of Max Superspeciality Hospital, Saket, and also Metropolis Healthcare, Mumbai.
The FIR was registered on the direction of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sandeep Garg.
The court allowed Talwar’s plea seeking action against the head of the Oncology department of Max Hospital, Saket, Dr Harit Chaturvedi, other doctors, and Metropolis Healthcare for endangering his life by wrong treatment.
“From the perusal of allegations levelled in the complaint, a prima facie case for commission of cognisable offences is made out,” the court said in its September 19 order.
“I have been a victim of criminal acts of cheating and others, by the team of doctors of Max Hospital, Saket, Delhi (Oncology Department) and Metropolis pathology lab in Mumbai, which resulted in injury and permanent disability to both of my legs,” Talwar said in the complaint.
According to Talwar, he discovered a swelling on his right thigh in April this year. He approached a local hospital in Amritsar, which removed the swelling and sent the lump for biopsy to Metropolis Healthcare, Mumbai, which in its report said it was a cancerous tumour.
On June 10, Talwar consulted Dr Harit Chaturvedi, who asked him to get admitted immediately. Chaturvedi had doubts over the Mumbai lab report, and sent the biopsy to the Max Hospital laboratory for further evaluation.
Chaturvedi told the complainant that the Max lab report had confirmed cancer and he would have to undergo surgery on the same day.
The surgery went on for five hours. The complainant had to immediately undergo reconstructive plastic surgery on his right leg.
After both the surgeries, late on June 10, a pathology report of Max Hospital was handed to Talwar where it mentioned that he was suffering from myositis ossification and not sarcoma.
“My family was shocked to learn that the testing of sample began at 1.02 p.m. on June 10 as indicated by the collection team, which meant that the surgery team had no iota of idea of the result of this histopathology report before surgery,” the complainant said.
On June 14, Talwar received a second biopsy report from Max hospital where it was clearly indicated that there was no definitive tumour and gave a diagnosis of “fat necrosis with lymphohistiocytic cell infiltration, fibrosis and foreign body granulomas”.
“It was at this moment that I became certain that the surgeries performed on me were not actually required but conducted with sole intention of cheating and extracting money,” Talwar said.
The patient’s brother questioned Harit Chaturvedi who in his response said the surgery had been conducted on the basis of the Metropolis Healthcare report.
“The entire picture became crystal clear to me and my family wherein we understood how we have been treated merely as a commodity only for monetary gain and probably to fulfill targets,” Talwar said.
He said that due to the criminal act of cheating by doctors of Max Hospital and wrong report of Metropolis Healthcare, his life has come to a standstill.
The police has booked unnamed doctors of the oncology department, Max Hospital, Saket, and Metropolis pathology lab, Mumbai, under Section 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others) and Section 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code.
As per Max Healthcare Authorities, patient Rahul Talwar had approached Max Institute of Cancer Care for the treatment of a cancerous lesion in his right thigh in June 2016. He had with him a confirmatory diagnostic report from a well-known, international chain of diagnostic labs, which is also Certified Analytics Professional certified.
“Additionally, the patient had reports of computed tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans done outside Max Healthcare, which too confirmed the presence of a tumour. In light of the seriousness of the disease in a young patient, Max Institute of Cancer Care advised the patient to also take an opinion from the radiation and medical oncology teams at Max Healthcare,” the hospital said in a statement.
“Based on these reports as well as the opinion of the oncology team, it was decided to admit and operate the patient as high grade sarcoma is an aggressive malignancy,” the hospital said.
“The plan of treatment also included Brachytherapy, which involves implanting wires for radio-therapy. As soon as Max hospital reports confirmed that there is no sarcoma, the catheter wires were removed and no radiation was given at any point to the patient,” it said.