New Delhi, August 9
The Delhi High Court on Saturday allowed an elderly patient to have an ultrasound machine at home in view of the serious condition of the patient, who is not in a position to move to the hospital. The ultrasound machine is required for the test requiring replacement of the infected peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) line inserted in the body of the patient.
The high court directed a private hospital to transport the machine under the supervision of District administration and chief District medical officer.
Otherwise the use of ultrasound machine is prohibited under Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PNDT) Act and concerned rules passed by the Delhi Government.
Justice Sanjeev Narula observed in the order, “The Court prima facie finds that petitioner's Right to Life guaranteed by the Constitution of India would be violated, if the provisions of PNDT Act are interpreted in a manner that prevents him accessing essential medical equipment.
“In a medical emergency case such as the one before us today, where a petitioner is genuinely not in a position to be transported to a location where the said machine is available, and where a procedure has been prescribed for a patient in domiciliary care, the afore noted provisions of the PNDT and the notification of the Government of NCT of Delhi, cannot come into his way,” the court observed in the order uploaded on Monday.
“In the opinion of the court, the legal provisions cited cannot be interpreted is such a manner so as to deprive the petitioner of a treatment that is urgently required as per the advice of the concerned doctors. Any delay or failure would impede his treatment and may cause determination of his health,” the court observed.
It also merit nothing that the rationale for introduction of the said prohibitory provisions in the PNDT Act was in the context of prevention of the social evil of pre-natal sex determination, which is very far removed from the facts of the instant case, the court said.
The Bench while allowing the petition directed the Director of Fortis Hospital, Vasant Kunj, to transport an ultrasound machine to the residence of the petitioner.
It was also directed that the above direction be carried out under the supervision of District Magistrate (New Delhi) and /or District Magistrate (Najafgarh) along with the concerned Chief District Medical officer (who is concerned PNDT Officer) of the afore said districts, who shall forthwith issue instructions/approval to Fortis Hospital, Vasant Kunj, as may be required to ensure comply with the above directions.
The high court issued the direction while granting interim relief to 70-year-old petitioner Deepak Nirula. The petition was urgently mentioned on Saturday which stated that the petitioner is suffering from debilitating illness called Progressive Supranuclear Palcy (PSP) and under domiciliary hospitalisation at his home, which is an arrangement akin to an ICU setting in tertiary care.
The petition stated that the petitioner cannot be taken to a hospital or a clinic for ultrasound, especially in the present case for removing the infected Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter (PICC) line which has been inserted in his body. The PICC stated to have been infected by a fungal infection Candida Auris which as per the report is resistant to all antibiotics. If the said PICC line is not replaced immediately, it may have dire consequences for his already frail condition.
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