- Ethical and legal principles in medical practice, particularly in view of the Consumer Protection Act.
- Proper record keeping as regards outdoor patients, indoor patients, medico–legal cases and certification.
- Wrong diagnosis
- Failure to investigate
- Inadvertent effects of treatment
- Hospital deaths
- Anesthetic and operative deaths etc.
- Police investigation procedure, their duties, rights and limitations.
- Court procedures, including filing of affidavits, replying to complaints, court appearances, cross-examinations etc.
- Legal aspects of medical negligence cases and compensation cases.
- Frivolous and vexatious complaints.
Liability of a doctor for medical negligence can arise in
- Negligence as Tort
Tortuous liability arises from the breach of a duty primarily fixed by Law.
- Negligence under Contract
Contractual liability depends on the express or implied terms agreed upon by the patient and the doctor.
- Negligence as Crime
Criminal liability depends on the amount and degree of negligence, unlike the tortuous liability that depends on the amount of damages done.
- Negligence under Consumers Law
The Consumer Protection Act (1986) was enacted to provide cheap and speedy remedy to aggrieved consumers by way of an alternative to the time consuming and expensive process of civil litigation.
The State Medical Council
- The SMC has the power to take disciplinary action on erring registered medical practitioners.
- He onus to prove the fault of a doctor lies with the complainant.
- Punishment may be in the form of a warning or temporary or permanent cancellation of registration.
- Either party, if not satisfied with the decision of the SMC, may appeal before the Government of India, whose decision taken in consultation with the MCI (Medical Council of India) is final.
- Advocate is not necessary.
- Appointment of a lawyer is not necessary.
- Complainant is required to pay minimal fees.
- Punishment is in the form of compensation.
- Appeal can be made to State Commission.
- National Commission and Supreme Court.
- Advocate is a must.
- Complainant is required to pay the court fees.
- Punishment is in the form of fine or compensation.
- An appeal can be made to High Court and Supreme Court.
- Remember that the police come into the picture only if the relatives or the patient himself lodges a complaint with the police for criminal negligence of the doctor leading to damage or death of the patient.
- Appellant is the state. The police come into play.
- Otherwise same as the civil court except that the punishment is in the form of imprisonment and/or fine.
- Do not panic.
- Do not try to manipulate your records in any way.
- Whatever you have recorded in natural course is always more logical.
- Make available the copies of the treatment record to the investigating officer, with due receipt. A copy should be kept for your reference.
- Do not be tense while giving statement to the police. You can give a detailed statement in written form and can add to it afterwards if necessary. Narrate the facts fully.
- Contact us. We will guide you in
- Preparing a proper statement
- Getting proper legal aid.
- The police officer has minimal medical knowledge and is just an investigating authority. So it is not necessary to explain your innocence to him. The court will decide the facts. The investigating agency is there to find out the facts regarding the complaint lodged. And then put those in front of the court.
- Anticipatory bail is rarely required.
- In case of a mishap, you will be charged under Sec.304A IPC.
- Section 304A IPC: Causing death of any person by doing any rash or negligent act, not amounting to culpable homicide.
- It is punishable with two years imprisonment and fine. It is a vailable offence.
- The court will consider
- Your intentions.
- Whether you have taken reasonable care and applied reasonable skill.
- There is no gross negligence