Consumer Protection Act ,1986 gave patients right to file case against doctors who have practiced negligent acts and receive compensation.
Negligence is carelessness .It is the breach of legal duty to care.
This breach of duty gives the patient the right to initiate action against negligence.
When a medical practitioner attends to his patient he owes him the following duties:
- A duty of care in deciding whether to undertake the case.
- A duty of care in deciding what treatment to give.
- A duty of care in the administration of the treatment.
Liability for Negligent Acts.
- Doctors can be held liable for their services individually or vicariously.
- If doctor does not charge fee he is not liable for his services.
- Negligence only occur when a reasonably competent professional with same skill would not do.
- Doctor cannot be held negligent for the act when patient is not properly cured.
- Principle applies thing speaks for itself in this case no proof of negligence is required.
Indian Penal Code.
Section 304 A states whoever cause death of a person by a rash or negligent act amounting to culpable homicide shall be punished with imprisonment for a term of two years or with a fine or with both.
Doctor’s act must be negligent which has caused patient’s death.
Defences for doctors.
Indian Penal Code Section 80 and 88 are defences for doctors accused of Criminal liability.
Section 80 – Nothing is an offence that is done by accident or misfortune and without any criminal intention or knowledge in the doing of a lawful act in a lawful manner by lawful means and with proper care and caution.
Section 88 – A person cannot be accused of an offence if she/he performs an act in good faith for the others benefit does not intend to cause harm even if there is a risk and the patient has explicitly or implicitly given consent.
For any subject specific advice, please dial 7888-356908.