What comes under Medical Negligence and how to deal with it ?

Medical Negligence is made of two words and the second word simply describes the meaning ‘an act done recklessly, without due care and caution resulting in damages to others.’ Thus, Medical Negligence is basically as ‘the improper or unskilled treatment of patient by an medical practitioner.’ It can also be understood as ‘ the misconduct by a medical practitioner by not providing enough duty of care thus resulting in harming of patients which are like their consumers. Negligence in medical profession can lead to small injuries or some kind of serious injuries and sometimes may lead to death. The basic reason behind medical negligence is carelessness of the doctors or medical professionals which can be observed through situations where reasonable care is not taken by doctor during operations, diagnosis, administrating anaesthesia etc. One of the leading judgments of medical negligence came from the case Dr. Laxman Balkrishnan Joshi v. Dr. Trimbark Babu Godbole and Anr. (1969). It was laid down that when a doctor is consulted by a patient; the doctor owes to his patient certain duties:

  • To decide Whether he wants to undertake the case or not,
  •  To decide What treatment should to be given to patient,
  • To decide the administration of treatment.

If doctor fails to perform any of such duties as said above, he has breached his duty thus giving right to patient to initiate action against him.

Thus, a standard of care specifying appropriate treatment and medication procedure as per the requirements should ne taken into account by a medical professional while dealing or providing treatment to his patients. The care is expected to be of highest degree. Here by degree means a level of care which an ordinary medical professionals with same training and skills, would have given under the similar circumstances. The burden of proof, of medical negligence rely upon the party who filed a complaint as law requires a higher standard of evidence to support any allegation of negligence against an medical professional.

  • Now where to file a complaint against a medical negligence?

A complaint must be filed in local police and state medical council. If state medical council sees the report of police as appropriate, then he will send this report to various courts under relevant sections. The liability under medical negligence can be civil as well as criminal. All the medical services fall under the purview of Consumer Protection Act, 1986 under which the complainant can seek monetary compensation also. Thus at last all THE AUTHOR want to say is that medicine though one of the noblest profession established to save the life of humans, they too are prone to commit mistakes in doing this and to control this, a legal barrier is required.

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