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What is deficiency of service?
Dr KK Aggarwal,  20 February 2021
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It is important to understand the general principles regarding medical negligence.

In the matter titled Jacob Mathew vs State Of Punjab & Anr on 5 August, 2005, The Apex Court held, “According to Charlesworth & Percy on Negligence (Tenth Edition, 2001), in current forensic speech, negligence has three meanings. They are:
 
i) A state of mind, in which it is opposed to intention
ii) Careless conduct
iii) The breach of duty to take care that is imposed by either common or statute law.
 
The essential components of negligence, as recognized, are three: “Duty”, “breach” and “resulting damage”, that is to say:-
  1. The existence of a duty to take care, which is owed by the defendant to the complainant
  2. The failure to attain that standard of care, prescribed by the law, thereby committing a breach of such duty
  3. Damage, which is both causally connected with such breach and recognised by the law, has been suffered by the complainant (Para 1.23).
If the claimant satisfies the Court on the evidence that these three ingredients are made out, the defendant should be held liable in negligence (Para 1.24).”
 
A doctor can be held liable for negligence if it can be proved that he/she is guilty of a failure that no other doctor having ordinary skills would be guilty of when acting with reasonable care.
 
The basic principle relating to medical negligence is known as the Bolam rule… A man does not have to possess the highest expert skill..... It is sufficient if one exercises the ordinary skill of an ordinary competent man exercising that particular art.
 
The Supreme Court has ruled in a judgment “…A medical practitioner is not liable to be held negligent simply because things went wrong from mischance or misadventure or through an error of judgment in choosing one reasonable course of treatment in preference to another.
 
He would be liable only where his conduct fell below that of the standards of a reasonably competent practitioner in his field…”
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