Is simple lack of care negligence?


Dr KK Aggarwal and Ira Gupta    11 November 2017

In the case of Jacob Mathew vs State of Punjab and Anr the Supreme Court of India has observed A simple lack of care . is not proof of negligence on the part of a medical professional. So long as a doctor follows a practice acceptable to the medical profession of that day he cannot be held liable for negligence merely because a better alternative course or method of treatment was also available or simply because a more skilled doctor would not have chosen to follow or resort to that practice or procedure which the accused followed. When it comes to the failure to taking precautions what has to be seen is whether those precautions were taken which the ordinary experience of men has found to be sufficient a failure to use special or extraordinary precautions which might have prevented the particular happening cannot be the standard for judging the alleged negligence. So also the standard of care while assessing the practice as adopted is judged in the light of knowledge available at the time of the incident and not at the date of trial. Similarly when the charge of negligence arises out of failure to use some particular equipment the charge would fail if the equipment was not generally available at that particular time that is the time of the incident at which it is suggested it should have been used. Reference 1. 334 2005 SCI 144 145 of 2004 Jacob Mathew vs State of Punjab and Anr 5th day of August 2005 R C Lahoti CJI Hon ble Mr. justice G P Mathur Hon ble Mr. P K Balasubramanyan.

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