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Is difference of opinion negligence?

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Dr KK Aggarwal and Ira Gupta    12 November 2017

No a difference of opinion is not negligence. The Supreme Court of India has observed In Bolam v. Friern Hospital Management Committee 1957 2 All ER 118 the law was stated thus Where you get a situation which involves the use of some special skill or competence then the test...is the standard of ordinary skilled man exercising and professing to have that special skill. A man need not possess the highest expert skill it is well established law that it is sufficient if he exercises the ordinary skill of an ordinary competent man exercising that particular Article... A doctor is not guilty of negligence if he has acted in accordance with a practice accepted as proper by a responsible body of medical men skilled in that particular Article.. Putting it the other way round a doctor is not negligent if he has acted in accordance with such a practice merely because there is a body of opinion which takes a contrary view. 1 A doctor cannot be held negligent either in regard to diagnosis or treatment or in disclosing the risks involved in a particular surgical procedure or treatment if the doctor has acted with normal care in accordance with recognised practices accepted as proper by a responsible body of medical men skilled in that particular field even though there may be a body of opinion that takes a contrary view. Where there are more than one recognised school of established medical practice it is not negligence for a doctor to follow any one of those practices in References to the others. 2 References 1. 6 SCC 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 2. SCI Civil Appeal No. 1949 of 2004 16.01.2008 Samira Kohli vs Dr. Prabha Manchanda and Anr B.N. Agrawal P.P. Naolekar and R.V. Raveendran jj.13.6.14 5 8.

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