Madras HC orders interim compensation to parents of infant whose thumb was cut off

Chennai: The Madras High Court has ordered the Tamil Nadu government to provide interim compensation of Rs 75,000 to the parents of a newborn baby whose left thumb was cut off by a negligent nurse while trying to removing a paediatric cannula. The incident occurred in Thanjavur Government hospital on June 8, 2021.

Justice Anand Venkatesh of the Madras High Court passed the order on Wednesday following a petition by M Ganeshan, father of the 14-day-old girl seeking compensation and treating the child at a multi-specialty hospital.

The high court judge observed that the parents were made to watch the horrible sight of the left thumb of the child lying on the floor and the child crying in pain. The court in its judgment said that this would have caused great mental agony, suffering and pain to the parents who were helpless.

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Justice Anand Venkatesh observed, “As the incident itself shows that there was negligence on the part of the government hospital, an interim compensation must be paid by the government to the parents of the child. This is the minimum that a government must undertake in a welfare state.”

The judge also directed the government to treat the child in a multi-specialty hospital and to undertake a specialised surgery so that the child does not permanently suffer from the loss of its left-hand thumb.

The court ordered the government to pay the interim compensation within four weeks of the judgment and directed the public prosecutor to report the matter to the court after the compensation is paid.

Justice Anand Venkatesh also directed the director of medical education and the dean of Thanjavur Government hospital to file a counter-affidavit in this case and adjourned the case till June 26 for further hearing.

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