SHRC calls for probe into man’s complaint

Hair begins to grow in his mouth after surgery

The Kerala State Human Rights Commission has directed the setting up of a medical board to investigate if there has been any lapse in treatment after hair started growing inside the mouth of a man who had surgery for removal of a tumour.

Acting on a complaint by Kunnathukal resident Stephen, commission chairperson Antony Dominic directed the Director of Medical Education to include an expert in plastic surgery on the board. In his complaint, Stephen had stated that let alone eat, he could not even swallow saliva owing to the growth of hair in his mouth. He alleged lapses on the part of doctors at the Regional Cancer Centre (RCC) who performed the surgery.

The skin from his lower chin was grafted inside the mouth where the surgery was performed.

The commission said the board should investigate if the growth of hair when skin was grafted was natural. If so, the board should explain what the solutions to the problem were. If need be, the board should examine the patient, the commission said, asking for a report within eight weeks.

Stephen, a labourer, was operated upon on July 9, 2019. Treatment was provided to him under the State government’s Karunya scheme. Though told that skin for grafting would be taken from his thigh, it was taken from his chin. When the doctor was informed, Stephen was ridiculed by asking him to get a barber to cut the hair inside the mouth, the complaint said.

Since the report submitted by the RCC favoured the doctors, the commission directed that a medical board be set up.

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