Batra Hospital and Medical Research case held that the law of negligence has to be applied according to facts and circumstances of individual case. No one can ignore that medicine is an evolving science, and there is no precise outcome of effect for every person. The operations involve certain calculated risk which cannot be denied because of complication in the operation if some risk is done, the doctors cannot be held liable for negligence as the patient himself has consented to the risk involved in the operation. In another case of Jacob Mathew .V. State of Punjab, the Supreme court held that in some cases of medical profession the doctors are equipped in certain situation where they have to make choices between a devil and the deep sea.
Firstly, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care. What is duty of care in this context? It is the responsibility to avoid careless actions that could cause harm to one or more persons. Secondly, the plaintiff bears the onus to prove that the defendant failed to succumb to the proper standard of care that a reasonable person would have provided in a similar situation. Standard of care is a way of measuring how much care one person owes another.
Szasz believed mental illness was mythical and the introduction of a diagnosis was merely to label social deviancy from social norms. Therefore Szasz challenged the paternalistic practices of coercive and powerful psychiatry and psychiatry’s suppression of personal autonomy and freedom (Buchanan-Barker & Barker 2009). As a result different perceptions of mental illness can impact how we deal with ethical dilemmas in psychiatry. The Mental Health Commission (2009) has set out strict guidelines and criteria around the use of seclusion
A tortious liability is a civil wrong, which arises from the breach of a duty primarily fixed by law: this duty is towards persons generally and its breach is redressible by an action for unliquidated damages. One of the liabilities under tort law is negligence which is one of the most common liabilities casted upon medical professionals. Such a liability draws upon unliquidated damages, which are damages not previously determined and are to be decided by the court based upon the particular facts of the case. It is in this very manner, that, the victims of medical negligence are compensated and also this is where the medical fraternity is abused upon by filing for frivolous legal suits. Before moving further, it is important to understand the term ‘negligence’ with reference to tortious liability.
In Psychiatry and the Business of Madness: An Ethical and Epistemological Accounting, Bonnie Burstow mentions that when a claimant brings an issue forward against a physician being charged, 'a huge bureaucracy involving complaints comes into view, one that would appear to place the claimant at a distinct disadvantage ' (Burstow, 2015, pp. 6). One of the disadvantages is that neither the claimants, nor the lawyers have the ability to cross-examine the physician being charged. Furthermore, in this situation, a panel of physicians exists, and the policy states that it is necessary that all of the physicians in the panel come from the same speciality or discipline as the physician being charged. This marks a conflict of interest, particularly in psychiatry as psychiatric matters challenge the primary interest of a psychiatrist, which is the wellbeing of a patient, both in diagnosis and treatment (Maj, 2008).
The Black Law of Dictionary defines negligence as a “conduct, whether of action or omission, which may be declared and treated as negligence without any argument or proof as to the particular surrounding circumstances, either because it is in violation of statue or valid municipal ordinance or because it is so palpably opposed to the dictates of common prudence that it can be said without hesitation or doubt that no careful person would have been guilty of it. As a general rule, the violation of a public duty, enjoined by law for the protection of person or property, so constitutes”. Elements of Medical Negligence (a) Duty of Care (b) Breach of Duty (c) Cause in fact (d) Proximate Cause (e) Damage. These elements are the basic causes of medical negligence, to prove that a case is comprised of medical negligence all the 5 factors must be considered. As per the Principle of Standard of care laid down by the Supreme Court of India, The exception for medical negligence is that, If a doctor doesn 't charge fees for his services, he
If this happens, the plaintiff must show the evidence of the facts of the case along with the testimony from an expert witness regarding whether the standard was met. Occasionally, a plaintiff is allowed to introduce medical treaties as evidence to prove the standard of care. Expert witnesses must be professionally qualified and have the familiarity in the area in question. Usually, these witnesses are the same who helped in establishing the duty in the first place. In some instances, out of court statements may be used as evidence of a breach of the duty of care.
A surgeon cannot and does not guarantee that the result of surgery would invariably be beneficial, much less to the extent of 100% for the person operated on… …Judged by this standard, a professional may be held liable for negligence on one of two findings: either he was not possessed of the requisite skill which he professed to have possessed, or, he did not exercise, with reasonable competence in the given case, the skill which he did possess. The standard to be applied for judging, whether the person
LIABILITY The liability of the person committing the wrong can be of three types depending on the harm or the injury suffered by the injured person they are 1. Civil Liability- civil liability usually involves the awarding of damages suffered in the form of compensation. If there is any breach of duty of care while operating or while the patient is under the supervision of the hospital or the medical professional they are held to be vicariously liable for such wrong committed. And are liable to pay damages in the form of compensation. At times the senior doctors are even held vicariously liable for the wrongs committed by the junior doctors.
Every act or omission by a healthcare professional can have dire results on his patient. Medical negligence is mainly the application of the general law of negligence on to the medical profession. The elements of negligence are the duty of care, breach of that duty of care, causation and actual damage to that person or property1. The same principles applies in medical negligence, however specific to this area, more attention is paid in the areas of causation and the level of standard of care that was given. Establishing a duty of care for a medical professional is usually straight forward, that by offering to treat a patient, the doctor is automatically in a relationship with that patient.