When is it a case of negligence? |
Medico Legal Corner
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When is it a case of negligence?
Dr KK Aggarwal,  19 November 2020
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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).

  1. If there is any evidence of prima facie case, never events or mens rea (criminal intent).
  2. If there is violation of any of the following SCI recommendations (Martin F. DSouza vs Mohd. Ishfaq, 3541 of 2002, dated 17.02.2009):
  • Current practices, infrastructure, paramedical and other staff, hygiene and sterility.
  • No prescription should ordinarily be given without actual examination.
  • The tendency to give prescription over the telephone, except in an acute emergency, should be avoided.
  • 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.
  • A doctor should not experiment unless necessary and even then he should ordinarily get a written consent from the patient.
  • An expert should be consulted in case of any doubt; Full record of the diagnosis, treatment, etc. should be maintained.
  • Not maintaining complete records of diagnosis, treatment etc.

3. If there is any violation of established treatment guidelines with no consent.

4. If informed consent was not taken.

5. If a copy of medical records was not given in time despite request by the patient or authorized person.

6. If the act in question is a wilful act.

7. If the patient was neglected at any time or not attended to in an emergency.

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