A private medical institution in San Fernando has lost its bid to censor the social media posts of an attorney, who is claiming that she suffered a radiation overdose during a routine CT scan.
Delivering a nine-page decision in the Port-of-Spain High Court on Monday, Justice Frank Seepersad partially removed the injunction against Cherry-Ann Rajkumar, which was obtained by Southern Medical Clinic Limited, its executive chairman Rupert Indar and director Romney Thomas, last week.
Seepersad ruled that an interim injunction was not justified, as the clinic’s dispute with Rajkumar over the treatment she received in June, last year, could only be resolved at the trial of their defamation case.
However, he noted that the clinic and Indar may file for an injunction at a later stage when the court can consider Rajkumar’s defence to making what they claim are unsubstantiated allegations against them.
In relation to Thomas, Seepersad ruled that the injunction should stand as Rajkumar’s action in protesting outside of his private law chambers was unreasonable. Thomas is also currently the chairman of the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA).
According to the evidence in the case, Rajkumar underwent the CT scan on June 11, last year.
She claimed that within two hours of the procedure she began experiencing symptoms which included burns to her face, pain, weakness and severe hair loss. She was later diagnosed with a radiation overdose by medical physicist Dr David Evans and a radiation oncologist.
The institution denied any wrongdoing and stated that its equipment and staff were certified and approved by the Ministry of Health. It also claimed that the side effects claimed by Rajkumar were not consistent with a radiation overdose.
A letter from the Ministry of Health Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram to the General Manager of the Southern Medical Services said a review had been done by Dr Paramanand Maharaj, head of the Radiology Services at the Eric Williams Services Complex, in light of Rajkumar’s complaint, found the radiation dose was “within normal limits.”
Maharaj stated: “It is almost impossible for a patient to be over-radiated for a routine CT scan of the brian as Diagnostic X-rays tubes are not capable of generating such harmful rays for the usual scan duration of less than 5 seconds.”
He suggested that Rajkumar seek alternative explanations for her signs and symptoms.
Rajkumar allegedly began posting information on her Facebook pages after the clinic reportedly refused to hand over data logs from its CT scan machine. Rajkumar is claiming that she needs the information for her doctors to tailor their treatment for her.
Seepersad questioned the failure to disclose the information in his preliminary decision.
“The court also finds it difficult, at this stage, to understand the hesitancy with respect to the information sought relative to the equipment and there may exist an unfettered right by all patients at medical institutions, whether public or private, to be provided with all information relative to the treatment which was afforded to them,” he said.
The clinic and its directors were represented by Faarees Hosein and Melissa Sinanan, while Rajkumar represented herself. The matter resumes next Wednesday.