Respond to plea of cancer patient: HC to AIIMS, Centre

‘Hospital denied treatment saying cannot take outside cases’

The Delhi High Court has asked the Centre and All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to respond to a plea by a woman suffering from fourth stage of esophageal cancer seeking direction to the hospital to provide her medical treatment.

Justice Navin Chawla, in an interim order, asked AIIMS to examine and render full treatment to the woman if she goes there till January 16.

“Till the next day of hearing, in case the petitioner [woman] produces herself for examination/ treatment before the respondent no. 2 [AIIMS], it shall examine and render full treatment to the petitioner,” the court said and listed the matter for hearing on January 16.

Fifty two-year-old Shashi Bala, in her petition, sought direction to the AIIMS to provide her treatment according to her present medical condition and after considering her previous reports and tests conducted in two different hospitals.

The counsel appearing for Bala also sought direction to the Centre to frame guidelines to be followed by government hospitals wherein no patient should be denied medical treatment if he/she is earlier treated at some other hospital.

“Denial to admit or treat the woman, who is suffering from fourth stage of cancer, is violation of her fundamental rights… The condition of the woman is weak and fragile and if she is not treated by AIIMS, she might lose her life. Failure by AIIMS to provide timely medical treatment to a needy person abrogates his/ her right to life guaranteed under Article 21,” the plea said.

It said the woman was earlier being treated at Batra Hospital and thereafter at Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Centre but the treatment was not satisfactory.

Subsequently, the woman’s son had visited AIIMS but the doctors refused treatment saying that they would not “entertain or take outside cases,” the plea alleged. It claimed that the doctors said they only take those cases where the patient directly comes to them.

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