The father of a patient who is undergoing treatment for spinal cord injury on Tuesday approached the High Court seeking a directive to the Indian Medical Association (IMA) to restrain from banning a special treatment by a doctor which was found effective for his son. The petitioner also sought a declaration that the IMA had no authority under law to supervise, prohibit and regulate the medical practice and procedure for treatment in any system of medicine.
Justice P R Ramachandra Menon issued notice to the State Government, IMA, and director, Health Services, on a petition filed by Dinesh, a lawyer from Kannur, challenging the IMA order.
According to the petitioner, his only son Aswin Dinesh, 26, fell from the terrace of his house in 2008, and suffered serious injuries to his spinal cord. His body has been paralysed below waist. Initially, Aswin was treated at Thejaswini Hospital in Mangalore, but was later discharged as he was not responding to the treatment. Subsequently, Dinesh came to know about the treatment offered by P S John, Head of Department, Regenerative Medicine, St Thomas Hospital, Chethipuzha, Changanacherry, to patients having serious injuries to their spinal cord. The petitioner’s son has been under treatment of the doctor since January 2012 .
While other hospitals in the country offered treatment at a rate ranging from `1 lakh to `3 lakh, John was charging only `4,500. As per the procedure, the bone marrow was taken from the patient’s body and injected into the spinal cord. There was nothing unethical in the treatment since no donor was involved, the petition stated.
Now, John has refused to continue with treatment with his special procedure as the IMA has asked him to discontinue the procedure. According to IMA, the procedure adopted by him is unscientific, unethical and causes huge financial burden on the patients.