What Is Medical Negligence

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MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE & CONSUMER PROTECTION IN INDIA
Introduction
Practice of medicine is capable of rendering great service to the society provided due care, sincerity, efficiency and skill are observed by doctors. Medical profession has its own ethical parameters and code of conduct. This profession is rendering a noble service to humanity and has sustained itself on public trust. According to voluntary Health Association of India, the present state of medical profession seems to mirror the rot, which seems to have sent into our system. Increased mechanization and commercialization of profession has brought in an element of dehumanization in medical practice. Health care has now been reduced to a business, which determines the patient-doctor
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What might be negligence in civil law might not necessarily be negligence in criminal law. ‘Criminal Negligence’ is an offence against the State while ‘Civil Negligence’ is an offence against the individual act, which leads to injury i.e. physical injury, hurt- Section 319, grievous hurt- Section 320 Indian Penal Code (IPC). Loss of property (financial loss) due to some negligent act is always a civil negligence. The decision of the Supreme Court delivered on last year raises a fresh debate on the issue of ‘Criminal Negligence by the Doctors’. In this case the Supreme Court relied on various decisions of the House of Lords. High degree of negligence is necessary to prove the charge of criminal negligence u/s 304-A IPC. For fixing criminal liability on a doctor or surgeon, the standard of negligence required to be proved should be as high as can be described as “gross negligence”. It is not merely a lack of necessary care, attention and skill. Negligence to amount a criminal offence, the court held, element of mensrea must be shown to…show more content…
Friern Hospital Management Committee also known as Bolam Case, the typical rule for assessing the appropriate standard of reasonable care in negligence cases involving skilled professionals (e.g. Doctors) was laid down. Where the defendant has represented him or herself as having more than average skills and abilities: this test expects standards which must be in accordance with a responsible body of opinion, even if others differ in opinion. In other words Bolam test states that “if a doctor reaches the standard of a responsible body of medical opinion, he is not negligent”. However Bolam test was criticized for its overreliance on medical testimony and personal judgment of experts chosen by the defendant. Bolam has been subsequently modified by the Bolitho

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