New Delhi, May 15 (ILNS) Th⁵4⁵e Delhi High Court has asked the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to consider the case of a 44-year-old woman suffering from Esophageal (Food Pipe) Cancer, for required surgery while ensuring the well-being of the patient and the overall COVID situation. (Madhuri Gaur Vs All India Institute of Medical Sciences & Ors)
A Single-judge Bench of Justice Prathiba M Singh on May 12, said, “this Court is confident that the team at AIIMS dealing with Petitioner’s case in the Department of Surgical Oncology, would ensure that a correct balance is drawn between ensuring the well-being of the Petitioner as also the COVID-19 situation which is prevalent currently. Steps for conduct of the surgery are directed to be taken immediately upon the surgeon/team in the concerned department recommending the same for the Petitioner, keeping in mind the overall facts and circumstances.”
The Court has considered the affidavit filed by the AIIMS that Surgery for Esophageal cancer is considered as Elective Surgery and it is generally recommended to perform the surgery with in 8 weeks after chemo radiotherapy. Due to the Covid crisis the AIIMS hospital is converted into Covid facility.
The Court after noting down the submissions of the parties has directed that the CT scan report of Lady along with the CT scan itself, may be transmitted to the surgeon concerned, through Senior Counsel Mr Verma. The petitioner’s counsel shall hand over the CT scan report to Mr Verma, so that it can be passed on to the doctor/ surgeon concerned who is dealing with the Petitioner’s case.
After the surgeon has examined the CT scan report, a teleconsultation be arranged between the surgeon/ Oncology team concerned and with the Petitioner, in order to fix the date of the surgery, keeping in mind the COVID situation in AIIMS, as also the probable date of resumption of the elective surgeries.
The Delhi High Court has observed that a perusal of the status report filed by AIIMS shows that the said report confirms the fact that the Petitioner has received Chemo-radiotherapy at the National Cancer Institute, Jhajjar till 7th April, 2021. Thereafter, all OPDs and elective surgeries at AIIMS were closed due to the COVID-19 situation. The report also confirms that the Petitioner was to get a CT scan done for surgical review. Paragraph 3 of the status report is significant to the effect that it recommends the surgery to be performed within eight weeks of the Chemo-radiotherapy.
The case of the Petitioner is that she was being treated at the National Cancer Institute located at AIIMS, Jhajjar, Delhi where she was required to undergo treatment of Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy in two phases. The first phase of her Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy was conducted on 7th April, 2021 and the second phase was scheduled for 30th April, 2021. However, since elective surgeries have been postponed during the Covid-19 pandemic, the second phase of the Petitioner’s treatment is not being conducted.
The counsel for the Petitioner contended that the status report filed by AIIMS supports his case, to the effect that the Petitioner requires surgery on top priority. He submits that so long as the surgeon in AIIMS can schedule a surgery, within a reasonable time period, so as not to adversely affect the condition of the Petitioner, the Petitioner would be satisfied. And the Petitioner has already gotten a CT Scan done and the report has been shown to the private doctor whom he had shown, according to whom, there has been an improvement. He submits that the Petitioner wishes to show the CT scan report to the surgeon in AIIMS, who is dealing with the Petitioner, again.
Senior Counsel for the Respondent, Mr. Verma has contended that currently the entire hospital has been made a COVID hospital, and no elective surgeries are being performed. He submitted that the CT Scan report of the Petitioner was required for the surgeon to take a call as to whether the Petitioner’s condition was improving. He further submitted that despite the fact that Petitioner had undergone chemotherapy on 7 th April, 2021 and the notification relating to the COVID-19 pandemic and of the closure of elective surgeries was issued on 19th April, 2021, the Petitioner was again evaluated and seen by the concerned Doctor in AIIMS on 28th April, 2021. He finally submitted that no mandamus can be issued by this court, directing AIIMS to get a particular surgery performed. ILNS/KR/RJ