ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

medical negligenceSubscribe to medical negligence

Protection for Medical Professionals

Following the COVID-19 outbreak, when the recovery of the nation is contingent on doctors and healthcare personnel risking their lives every day, we must examine whether there is an equitable quid pro quo in terms of receiving service and providing protection. The causes of the antagonism between patients and doctors leading to violence against medical professionals are highlighted, and the efficiency of the legislations enacted for the protection of medicare professionals in India is examined. Finally, recommendations to remedy the deficiencies are provided.

Medical Negligence and Law

India has adopted the Bolam rule from the United Kingdom and has been using it to adjudicate cases of medical negligence. The evolution of the Bolam rule in the UK as well as the way the rule is applied in India by the Supreme Court reflects a balance between judicial intervention and deference to medical expertise. Although it is settled that it is the courts and not medical experts who must finally decide on whether the conduct of a doctor is negligent, the standards to be used when evaluating expert evidence and the extent to which such cases must be deferred to are evolving. The Supreme Court has not clearly stated the judicial standard against which it will test these differing opinions of medical experts and has not been consistent in its willingness to do so. Therefore, the application of the Bolam rule in India has been inconsistent and this is likely to have an impact on the decisions made by medical practitioners.
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