Every death of patient not medical negligence: Kerala High Court


IANS    08 February 2023

The Kerala High Court ruled that not every patient′s death could be attributed to medical malpractice. The judge went on to say that a doctor can only be held liable for malpractice if the patient died as a direct or indirect result of their actions, rather than simply because something went wrong by accident or misfortune.


There should be enough proof to charge a medical expert with such negligence." The death must be a direct or proximate result" of the negligent act alleged to attract criminal liability, it ruled, as it acquitted five medical professionals (two doctors and three nurses) of charges of causing death by negligence and other offences in the aftermath of the death of a 37-year-old woman who died after undergoing a laparoscopic sterilisation procedure in 2006.


The court pointed out that negligence is very different from an unfavourable or unfortunate situation. However, there is an increasing propensity to blame the doctor for a negative or unfavourable event.


The court also observed that there is a rising trend among the public to blame medical professionals for being in unfavourable and unpleasant situations, which harms their careers and drains their mental energy.

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