May 2, 2024

Medical negligence hides in the complicated network of healthcare, where susceptibility and trust are intertwined. It’s a heavy expression that frequently conjures thoughts of catastrophic errors and broken lives. However, both patients and healthcare professionals must be aware of its limitations.

Medical Negligence       

  • The idea of medical negligence describes the actions of a healthcare provider who violates professional norms and causes a patient who was counting on the provider to preserve her life to pass away.
  • Because hospital negligence or medical negligence frequently leads to the patient’s death, it is the most dishonourable act a medical worker can commit.

medical malpractice: Important Ingredients

  • The responsibility to exercise caution when deciding whether or not to take on a special case.
  • The obligation of care in selecting the appropriate therapy or treatment for a patient in a given situation.
  • The responsibility to use reasonable care when delivering therapy.

doctors negligence: Related Provisions

  • The Indian Penal Code’s Section 304A addresses deaths brought on by negligence. Should a medical practitioner’s carelessness lead to a patient’s demise, they could face a fine, two years in prison, or both.
  • Section 337 of the Indian Penal Code deals with harming someone by endangering their life or personal safety. If a medical professional’s negligence endangers a patient’s life or safety, they could be subject to a fine, up to six months in jail, or both.
  • Section 338 of the Indian Penal Code deals with extreme suffering brought on by acts that endanger one’s life or personal safety. If a medical professional’s negligence causes a patient to sustain serious injuries, they could be subject to two years in prison, a fine, or both.
  • Patients can register complaints against medical providers and seek compensation for medical negligence under the Consumer Protection Act of 1986.

What Does not Constitute medical malpractice?

It is not always the case that a doctor is at fault when a patient is hurt. The argument that he has not violated the duty of care may be a strong one for him.

There are two kinds of judgment errors:

  • An Error in Judgment: It has been acknowledged that these situations do not constitute a duty breach. We cannot hold a doctor accountable for doctor negligence just because his choice proved to be incorrect.
  • Error of Judgment Due to Negligence: The term ” error of judgment due to negligence” refers to a mistake in judgment that would not have occurred if all relevant information had been taken into account before making a choice. This is equivalent to a duty breach.

medical negligence claims

  • First and foremost, you must establish the existence of a patient-doctor relationship. The simplest step in establishing medical negligence is this one.
  • The next thing you need to do is provide evidence that your physician did not adhere to the standards that are expected of them in this field.
  • Then demonstrate that the clinical negligence caused you to sustain an injury.
  • You must provide documentation of damages, which covers any losses you have incurred as a result of the doctor’s negligence.
  • Any malpractice lawsuit against medical negligence must contain proof of each of the aforementioned components in order to be successful.

medical malpractice negligence: Challenges Faced by the Victims

When it comes to medical negligence, a complaint could run into the following issues:

  • The decision-making process in medical negligence claims is laborious. Thus, occasionally, it causes the complainant to become less motivated.
  • There are situations where the doctor’s prospects of winning the case are increased because of the hospital’s reputation.
  • In such instances, the doctor removes all relevant evidence since they already know they have been careless, which causes issues for the complainant.
  • Knowing the limits of your insurance coverage is important since there are situations in which the insurance company itself denies a claim.

medical negligence case law

The medical negligence cases are as follows:

  • In the case of Jacob Mathew v State of Punjab, Res ipsa loquitur, according to the Supreme Court, can be used in medical negligence proceedings when the injury was of a kind that would not often happen in the absence of negligence and the circumstances surrounding the accident indicated that the healthcare provider was at fault.
  • In the case of Kusum Sharma v Batra Hospital, the Supreme Court ruled that a physician frequently chooses to proceed with a procedure that carries a higher level of risk because, in his honest opinion, it will increase the patient’s prospects of success. It might not be considered medical negligence if a physician took a greater chance in an attempt to relieve the patient’s pain and the outcome was not what was expected.

To guarantee that medical treatment is given in a responsible and accountable manner, it is essential that medical personnel understand their ethical and legal responsibilities as well as patients’ rights. In the end, the legal framework for medical negligence in India aims to protect patients’ wellness and dignity by guaranteeing safe and efficient medical care.            

Medical Negligence FAQs      

  1. What evidence do we need for medical negligence?

In order to establish medical negligence, you must demonstrate that a physician, surgeon, or other healthcare provider did not provide the necessary level of care, which resulted in a medical error.

  • What are the conditions for medical negligence?

Medical negligence can only be proven against a physician when they fail to provide the level of reasonable care that is expected of them. A physician cannot be deemed negligent just because he made a subjective error in judgment.

  • What are the defense to medical negligence?

A defense for the medical professional who performed their duty with reasonable care and best effort and chose a course of treatment that is acceptable in the medical profession even if the treatment is unsuccessful is provided by law. Certain laws are also designed to provide legal remedies to people who have suffered from the medical negligence of the medical practitioner. However, sometimes medical negligence cases were filed against the medical practitioner even without their error.

  • Is medical negligence criminal or civil?

To be held accountable for criminal medical negligence, an individual must demonstrate a wilful and egregious disrespect for their patient’s safety, or a severe lack of competence that extends beyond a simple disagreement over compensation.

  • What is error of Judgement in medical negligence?

A judgment error may be the result of carelessness or it may just be an error in judgment. The courts have only acknowledged that the former situation does not constitute a breach of the duty of care. It might be characterized as the legal acceptance of human fallibility in all areas of existence.

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