When is it a case of negligence? |
Medico Legal Corner
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When is it a case of negligence?
Dr KK Aggarwal & Advocate Ira Gupta,  11 October 2019
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If no inquiry or experts are required, then it is a clear case of negligence. In such cases, medical negligence is established based on the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur (the thing speaks for itself).

  • If there is any evidence of prima facie case, never events or mens rea (criminal intent).
  • If there is violation of any of the following SCI recommendations (Martin F. DSouza vs Mohd. Ishfaq, 3541 of 2002, dated 17.02.2009)

o Current practices, infrastructure, paramedical and other staff, hygiene and sterility.

o No prescription should ordinarily be given without actual examination.

o The tendency to give prescription over the telephone, except in an acute emergency, should be avoided.

o A doctor should not merely go by the version of the patient regarding his symptoms, but should also make his own analysis including tests and investigations where necessary.

o A doctor should not experiment unless necessary and even then he should ordinarily get a written consent from the patient.

o An expert should be consulted in case of any doubt; Full record of the diagnosis, treatment, etc. should be maintained.

o Not maintaining complete records of diagnosis, treatment etc.

  • If there is any violation of established treatment guidelines with no consent.
  • If informed consent was not taken.
  • If a copy of medical records were not given in time despite request by the patient or authorized person.
  • If the act in question is a willful act.
  • If the patient was neglected at any time or not attended to in an emergency.
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