crimestories.CO.IN BANNER

ads header

Crime Patrol: Malad man says laboratory labelled him HIV+ for cash (Episode 438 on 28th Nov 2014)

The Inside Story

Mumbai, Maharashtra

Man Falsely Diagnosed with HIV Files Complaint Against Pathology Lab and Doctor

A 38-year-old man in Mumbai has filed a complaint with the Maharashtra Medical Council and the police against a doctor and a pathology lab technician, claiming that they misled him into believing he was HIV positive and promised him a cure that would cost Rs 1 lakh. The victim, Joel Chettiar, has alleged that the lab's doctored report turned his world upside down and that at one point he had contemplated suicide. Chettiar was advised a routine blood investigation, including HIV screening, by a local doctor whom he had consulted for falling ill frequently and losing weight.

Chettiar submitted his blood sample at The Pacific Lab located in Malad (West) on March 20. On March 23, he received the bombshell news that the report showed he was HIV positive. That evening, Chettiar had a big fight with his wife, who threatened to walk out on him. He told the Mumbai Mirror, "I was broken. I wanted to end my life, but my wife stopped me." The next day, Chettiar's wife met Pacific Lab technician Rajendra Mehra. Chettiar's complaint says Mehra recommended a doctor who he claimed had expertise in treating HIV patients. Mehra said that the treatment would cost Rs 1 lakh and promised that Chettiar would recover fully in three months.

Chettiar decided to seek help from a family friend, who advised him to get a fresh test done at a government lab. On March 24, Chettiar did an HIV antibody test at Mumbai District AIDS Control Society (MDACS), a recognised government centre, and another test at Sunflower Laboratory at Malad. Results of both tests revealed he did not have HIV infection. On April 1, Chettiar lodged a complaint against the lab at the Charkop police station and filed another with the Maharashtra Medical Council. Both complaints named Mehra and Dr Pravin Shinde, MD Path, who had signed Chettiar's report.

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has issued a circular warning doctors to refrain from associating themselves with pathology and diagnostic laboratories not run by qualified pathologists. The circular also warns of action against all those found endorsing such laboratories. According to an estimate by the Maharashtra Association of Practicing Pathologists and Microbiologists (MAPPM), there are approximately 6,000 illegal pathological laboratories in the state, against whom the government is yet to take action.

Dr Dilip Sarda, state president, IMA, said, "We have made it very clear that action will be taken against any doctor found endorsing any pathological laboratory without holding a specialist's degree in pathology." Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) member, Dr Suhas Pingale, said, "As per the Medical Council of India, reports of any kind to patients without authentication by a pathologist registered with MMC. If the guidelines are violated, the laboratory's licence will be cancelled."

« Previous Post
title loading...
Next Post »
...title loading

Post a Comment