Advantages And Disadvantages Of Liability Of A Hospital

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Liability of the hospital

The hospitals can be either directly or vicariously liable with regard to medical negligence. If the hospital is unable to provide a safe and suitable environment for the treatment of the patient then it can be directly liable whereas if any employee of the hospital does any negligent act then the hospital is liable for the cat of its employee, this is vicarious liability. The employer is not only responsible for his own acts but also for the acts of his employees which occur within their employment. The principle upon which this vicarious liability is enacted is ,’Master servant relationship’. The Employers are also liable under principle represented in the Latin phrase, "qui facit per aliumfacit per se", i.e. the
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In Joseph @ Pappachan vs, Dr. Goerge Moonjerly supporting the duty as envisaged by the other courts the high Court of Kerala held that, the persons who run the hospital are same as the doctors under the law, whenever they accept a patient to treat him reasonable care should be taken by the hospital authorities as well.
The Madras High Court in Aparna Dutta vs. Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd had taken a crucial view in the matter of medical service. It was argued by the accused that the surgeon was called from the different hospital to treat the patient and the surgeon does not have master servant relationship with the hospital so the hospital authorities are not liable for the acts done by the surgeon. The High court quashing all the arguments of the Apollo hospital held that , the hospital authorities cannot escape from the liability by stating that it does not hav master servant relationship with the surgeon, it is no longer a defense to say that surgeon is not a employee of the hospital. The West Bengal in Paschim Bengal Khet Mazdoor Samity and Ors. v. State of Bengal held that the hospitals are also liable for not providing adequate medical facilities. The Andhra Pradesh High Court in Mr. M Ramesh Reddy .V. State of Andra Pradesh held that the hospital authorities can be held liable if the patients are not provided with proper sanitation
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The Supreme Court in the case of Kusum Sharma & Ors vs. Batra Hospital and Medical Research held that each every case has different facts and circumstances. One cannot ignore that medicine is an evolving subject and one cannot always predict its outcome. The operations done by the medical practitioners contain certain calculated risk and if that risk taken doesn’t work out then it cannot be construed as negligence in the part of the medical practitioner if he has taken reasonable care and caution at the time of taking the calculated risk. In another landmark case of Jacob Mathew .V. State of Punjab, the Supreme Court was of the view that in some cases of medical profession the doctors are required to make difficult choices. In some cases there will be great risk in operating the patient but the chances of success will be higher and on the other hand the there wouldn’t be much risk but the chances of failure are higher. So each and every case has to be judged only on the basis of its facts and

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