3 years after teen egg donor's death, mother puts doc in dock

PramilaPramila Pandey says the family was not aware that Sushma was a donor and they never received any money from this.

More than three years after the death of 17-year-old Sushma Pandey, who had been an egg donor at 'Rotunda - The Centre for Human Reproduction,' in Bandra, her mother Pramila Pandey filed a complaint before the Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) seeking action against the medical director of Rotunda, Dr Gautam Allahbadia.

In her complaint in Marathi, Pramila (44), a resident of Saki Naka, alleged that despite her daughter being unmarried and under 18 years, Dr Allahbadia carried out the egg donation procedure that put her through pain and caused her death.

This could be a first-of-its kind complaint before the MMC that has the power to terminate or suspend the medical practice of a doctor, if he or she is found guilty of professional misconduct. The complaint was filed on October 5 after the officers of the Saki Naka police station sought the opinion of the medical legal council of J J Hospital, following a Bombay High Court order. Dr Allahbadia and the Rotunda Centre have, however, been spared criminal charges.

"In three years, I have cried several nights thinking of my daughter. I want justice for her. She was young, naive and somebody took advantage of that," Pramila told Newsline.

When reached for a comment, Allahbadia replied through a text message, "The matter is sub-judice and I will be unable to comment on it."

The MMC, which had a backlog of 600 cases in 2011, some as old as 1985, may, however, not be able to hear the case soon. Dr Shivkumar Utture, executive committee member of the MMC said this was the first time that he had heard of such a case against a doctor. "We have two ethical committees. After a complaint is filed, we send a notice to the doctor and if we find that there is prima facie a case, we hear both the parties," said Utture. "The committee sits once a month and it is highly unlikely that a case as recent as October will be heard before January-February," he added.

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