Family sends legal notice, seeks Rs 55 lakh compensation
SRINAGAR: A 60-year-old cancer patient from Jawahar Nagar is battling for life in Bengaluru after doctors at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in New Delhi violated established medical protocol to treat his malignancy, the family alleges.
The family has sent a legal notice to the hospital seeking Rs 55 lakh as compensation for the treatment failure.
Family members of Musadicq Zargar, the patient, told Kashmir Reader that they were forced to move him to Bengaluru to start fresh treatment after a ‘botched chemotherapy’ at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital by a senior doctor left him in a critical condition.
The patient was admitted to the hospital in September last year, after being diagnosed with cancer in his colon. He was subsequently operated upon to remove the malignancy.
Tassaduq Zargar, his brother said, “However, they violated the cancer treatment protocol by resorting to wrong chemotherapy leading to his critical condition.”
We have exhausted all our savings on his treatment. We were left in distress and huge debt after the wrong treatment by doctors at the Ganga Ram Hospital.”
According to the family, the doctors administered 12 cycles of therapy until March without taking a mandatory PET (positron emission tomography) scan.
“As per international protocol, the patient has to undergo PET scan necessarily after every 4 cycles to see the success of chemotherapy treatment and indication of CEA levels,” said a senior oncologist based in Srinagar.
Another senior surgeon, Dr Iqbal Saleem, said that PET scan becomes important in such treatments when CEA level shows increase during chemotherapy treatment.
“This is a serious mismanagement on part of any oncologist to continue doing chemotherapy without looking for reasons of increasing CEA level. The PET scan becomes must when CEA levels are high in colorectal cancer patients because it may be the indication of metastasis,” he said.
The family alleged that the concerned specialist, Dr Shyam Aggarwal, didn’t bother to do a single PET scan for six months.
“After the surgery in September, the carcinoembryonic antigen scan showed a positive signal with the level at 2.27. However, after six months of chemotherapy, the status of cancer didn’t improve. It had rather worsened as the CEA level was at 39.07. It happened because the Dr Aggarwal didn’t do the mandatory PET scan during treatment,” Zargar said.
“During the ongoing therapies, my brother’s condition was turning from bad to worse. We had no choice but to consult some other specialist. We sent all the reports to a relative, who is a doctor in London. It was a shock for her to hear that CEA level indicated a serious condition in which PET scan becomes must.”
The family says that they contacted Dr Shyam Aggarwal and told him about the assessment results to which he allegedly responded that “there was no need to panic as high levels were the side effects of therapies”.
“When we insisted for a PET scan, the said doctor misbehaved with us. And he asked us to bring the patient for regular checkups after 2 months even though the CEA level was high and his condition was worsening,” said Mudasir Ahmad, another relative.
Family says that the doctor later admitted that his therapies had failed and asked them to “to be ready for fresh treatment” against huge sum of money. It was after this that the family decided to take the legal route.
“It is impressed upon you to take responsibility of your agents and get my client the treatment which he needs and pay the compensation for an amount of Twenty-five lakh which was spent by my client during the stay in New Delhi on treatment and other things which your agent have dictated and Rs 30 lakh more for the treatment which he is going through at Bengaluru Hospital due to your failure treatment,” reads the legal notice sent to the Chairman Sir Ganga Ram Hospital New Delhi.