Medical negligence – A Biggest Sin

In this period, deaths and injuries caused by medical negligence is commonly seen. When Medical practitioners or doctors or nurses failed to take care of patients it result in deaths or injuries. So, here in this article we talks about types of medical negligence and how to claim compensation and what are the procedures for complaint. We also discuss about relevant case laws and legislative measures in this article.

Medical negligence is an unpardonable sin” in this world all humans are making mistakes, no one is perfect here. It includes doctors also who are equal to god who are saving our lives. It is also a noble profession. In this era, there are more medical negligence cases is being increased because of unprofessional medical practitioners. In this article we are going to discuss about this issues.

Medical negligence is done by Doctors or Medical practitioners for not providing enough medical advice or enough care which results to breach of their duty such as death or medical injuries. In recent years there are many cases filed in India due to medical negligence. “To err is human” is the common thing which faced by all humans so the doctors are no exception to this.

TYPES OF MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE:

  • Misdiagnosis
  • Surgical error
  • Wrong site surgery
  • Unnecessary surgery
  • Delayed diagnosis
  • Errors in anesthesia
  • Labor malpractice
  • Negligent in c- section
  • Prescription errors
  • Negligent in medical advice
  • Pregnancy and birth injuries
  • Dental negligence
  • Negligence in skin treatment

ESSENTIALS:

  1. The doctor must have responsibility to take care of the patients.
  2. The doctor must committed the negligence which means breach of their duty
  3. The patient must suffered damages due to the negligence done by medical practitioner.

                         In the case of Dr. Laxman Balkrishna Joshi V. Dr. Trimbark Babu Godbole & Anr[1], it held that when a patient consult to doctor, the doctor owes certain duties such as duty of care.

EXAMPLES:

  1. Not giving proper medical advice to patients
  2. Giving improper prescription
  3. Leaving an object during surgery such as bondage, scissors, cotton, and so on.

BURDEN OF PROOF:

The burden of proof laid upon on the complainant. It is the essential one of the medical negligence. In the case of Calcutta medical research institute V. Bimalesh chatterjee[2], it was held that onus of proofs against negligence of medical practitioners is completely depend upon complainant only.

The law requires higher standard of evidence to prove the negligence against a doctor. In Kanhaiya kumar singh V. Park medicare & research centre[3], it was held that negligence has to established not to presumed.

PROVISIONS:

FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS:

  • ARTICLE 21 – Protection of life and personal liberty

No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.

  • ARTICLE 32 – Right to constitutional remedies

It has right to go for Supreme court by appropriate proceedings for the enforcement of rights.

CRIMINAL LAW:

Code of criminal procedure amendment 1973 (C.C.P)

                                        When it is proved that the negligent act is performed with Men Rea (guilty mind) he shall be punished under C.C.P Amendment 1973. The intention to behave in such negligent way shall be proved to make a doctor liable under criminal law.

INDIAN PENAL CODE:

           Section 52Nothing is said to be done or believed in “good faith” which is done or believed without due care and attention.
            Section 80Nothing is an offence which is done by accident or misfortune, and without any criminal intention or knowledge in the doing of a lawful act in a lawful manner by lawful means and with proper care and caution.
    Section 81Nothing is an offence merely by reason of its being done with the knowledge that it is likely to cause harm, if it be done without any criminal intention to cause harm, and in good faith for the purpose of preventing or avoiding other harm to person and property.
              Section 88Nothing which is not intended to cause death, is an offence by reason of any harm which it may cause, or be intended by the doer to cause, or be known by the doer to be likely to cause, to any person for whose benefit it is done in good faith, and who has given a consent, whether express or implied to suffer that harm, or to take the risk of that harm.
      Section 90A Consent is not such a consent as is intended by any section of this code, if the consent is given by a person under fear of injury, or under a misconception of fact, and if the person doing the act knows, or has reason to believe, that the consent was given in consequene of such fear or misconception.
            Section 304ACausing death by negligence- whoever causes the death of any person by doing of any person by doing rash or negligent act not amounting to culpable homicide, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine or with both.
     Section 312 to 316Causing Miscarriage
     Section 319 to 322Causing grievous hurt
     Section 336 to 339Act of endangering life or personal safety of others
     Section 345Wrongful confinement

OTHER LAWS:

  • Consumer Protection Act, 1986

Victims can claim damages for medical negligence against a doctor or Medical Practitioners. Section 69 (1) of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 laid down that complaint must be filed within 2 years from the date of an incident.

  • Indian Medical Council Act, 1956

Any person who has incurred damages due to the act of any doctor’s negligence can file a complaint with respective council. In the last few years the Indian Medical Council has started taking severe steps for improvement in standard medical practice and medical ethics. However, the council only has power to punish the doctor and cancel their registration for their negligent behaviour but does not have the power to provide compensation for the victim of such misconduct.

RELEVANT CASE LAWS:

CHANDIGARH CLINICAL LABORATORY V. JAGJEET KAUR[4]

The National consumer disputes redressal commission upheld the findings of the district and state commission and further held that the appellant had “duty of care” to give accurate findings to the patient and the failure of the appellant to take due care shall amount to medical negligence.

    JAGADISH RAM V. STATE OF H.P[5]

It was held that before performing any surgery the chart revealing information about the amount of anesthesia ad allergies of the patient should be mentioned so that an anesthetic can provide sample amount of medicines to the patient. The doctor in above case failed to do so as a result of the overdose of anesthesia the patient died and the doctor was held liable for the same.

    GIAN CHAND V. VINOD KUMAR SHARMA[6]

It was held that shifting of the patient from one ward to another inspite of requirement of instant treatment to be given to the patient resulting in damage to the patient’s health then the doctor or administrator of the hospital shall be held liable under negligence.

    MR.M.RAMESH REDDY V. STATE OF ANDHRA PRADESH[7]

          The hospital authorities were held to be negligent, inter alia, for not keeping the bathroom clean, which resulted in the fall of an obstetrics patient in the bathroom leading to her death.

    JAGDISH PRASAD SINGH V. DR.A.K. CHATTERJEE[8]

         The state consumer disputes Redressal commission of Jharkhand had observed that the accused had failed to take due care to return the precise findings in the reports. Whether harm came to the patient or not would not be the criteria for case against negligence.

HOW CAN COMPLAINT:

Victims can complaint against doctors when it completes the essentials of medical negligence. A Complaint can be filed in State Medical Council or in State Consumer Courts or in Criminal Courts. If our aim is to achieve monetary compensation then we can approach Consumer Courts. The Consumer Courts can cancel the license of doctors in some cases.

REMEDIES AVAILABLE TO PATIENTS:

  • MEDICAL COUNCIL OF INDIA:

Any aggrieved person can claim damages due to negligence of doctors which cause death or injury with respective council. Here the council have powers to punish the doctors and to cancel their registration. It has no power to compensate the victims for such negligent behaviour.

  • CIVIL LIABILITY:

Victim can file a complaint before a civil court or can complaint before the consumer Forum under consumer protection act,1986 against doctors who committed negligence by this we can claim damages in the form of compensation.

  • CRIMINAL LIABILITY:

We can approach criminal court when only it arises death or serious injury which causes to life long term due to medical negligence under section 304-A of Indian Penal Code, 1860 by claiming relief for the negligence.

Patients completely believe the doctors who save the people lives. Medical practitioners have to deal with them carefully even they attain some mistakes in some cases. Medical tools such as scissors, Knife should be should be handled correctly.If any mistakes occur it suffers the patients life as well as their in long term. Indian Laws have to be reform in more ways.


[1]Dr. Laxman Balkrishna Joshi V. Dr. Trimbark Babu Godbole & Anr , AIR 1969 SC 128

[2]Calcutta Medical Research Institute V. Bimalesh Chatterjee , Appeal No. 388 of 1994

[3]Kanhaiya Kumar Singh V. Park Medicare & Research centre , 1999 CPJ 9

[4] Chandigarh clinical laboratory V. Jagjeet kaur ,30 August 2007

[5]Jagadish Ram V. State of H.P ,AIR 2007

[6]Gian Chand V. Vinod Kumar Sharma , AIR 2007

[7]Mr.M. Ramesh Reddy V. State of Andhra Pradesh ,2003 (1) CLD 81 (AP SCDRC)

[8]Jagadish Prasad singh V. Dr.A.K.Chatterjee , 23 October, 2008

Written – by

All-Weather Connectivity to Remote Parts of India

All-weather connectivity applies to remote villages all over India. Many small villages and isolated houses in India become inaccessible during the monsoon. Due to the scope of limitation of this article, we will discuss large regions that are cut off from the rest of the country at least for a month. This mainly includes regions around the northern border of India. As India moves towards a developed nation, developing road and rail connectivity to these parts becomes necessary. Also, the defense sector will be immensely benefited to position troops precisely at target locations quickly.

1)Kashmir :

Dal Lake in Kashmir

One of the most hostile regions in the country, Kashmir, is a remote, picturesque valley tucked away in the lap of the Himalayas. Pakistan has also claimed Kashmir since 1947, for which India and Pakistan have fought at least 3 wars in 1947, 1965, and 1971. The Kashmir valley is not as easily accessible to India as it is to Pakistan. At present, only two roads connect Kashmir with the rest of India. One is through the Banihal pass, covering Patnitop, Banihal, and Qazigund. Two big tunnels, Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee tunnel at Chenani below the Patnitop hill station and the Banihal-Qazigund road tunnel below the Banihal pass, have made the road an all-weather one. The former was inaugurated in April 2016, while the latter was completed in August 2021. The Banihal-Qazigund road tunnel now awaits a formal inauguration, after which we can say that all-weather connectivity with Kashmir has been established. The other road is the old Mughal road via Akhnoor, Poonch, Shopian, which is inaccessible for 6 months in winter. The Udhampur-Baramulla railway line is partially complete between Udhampur and Katra stations and Banihal to Baramulla stations. The missing gap of around 111 Km between Katra and Banihal is expected to be completed by 2022.

2)Ladakh :

Pangong Tso Lake in Ladakh

Ladakh is one of the most remote places in entire India, which is cut off for 6 months in winter from the rest of India. At present, Ladakh is connected to India through only two roads, one via Zojila pass and another via Baralacha La pass. Both the passes are covered in a thick blanket of snow from early winter up to mid-summer. This makes Ladakh totally inaccessible except for emergency supplies via Leh airport. Currently, two tunnels, Z-Morh tunnel and Zojila tunnel are under construction in the Zojila pass route. These two tunnels will provide all-weather connectivity to Kargil, though the same cannot be said for Leh as more passes are needed to be covered. The other route through Himachal Pradesh requires tunnels at Baralacha La, Lachulung La, and Taglang La passes to make it an all-weather route. There is no rail route at present between Ladakh and the rest of India. A third road is under construction via Shingo La pass, which will connect the Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh with the Zanskar region of Ladakh.

3)Lahaul and Spiti :

Key Monastery in Lahaul and Spiti

Lahaul and Spiti forms the northern tribal districts of Himachal Pradesh. Lahaul and Spiti forms two different valleys, each connected to the rest of India via two separate roads. The Rohtang pass connects Lahaul while Spiti is connected through a narrow road via Reckong Peo, Nako. Both the roads are prone to heavy snowfall in winter. Lahaul and Spiti forms the gateway to Ladakh via Himachal Pradesh. After the inauguration of the Rohtang tunnel in September 2020, Lahaul is finally connected to the rest of India through an all weather road. Spiti is still too remote to be connected even in the near future. The road between these two valleys is through the high altitude Kunzum Pass, which is closed most of the year due to snow. There is no train connection to either of these two valleys.

4)Tawang :

Sela Pass in Tawang

The Tawang region of Arunachal Pradesh is connected to the rest of India through a single road through the Sela pass. The Sela pass is a high altitude pass, which is often blocked by snowfall in winter. To make an all-weather road to the Tawang district, two tunnels will be dug, one below the Sela pass and another at Nechiphu. These two tunnels will provide winter connectivity to Tawang. The construction of Sela tunnel has been started, while the work on the shorter Nechiphu tunnel will be taken up shortly. No rail connections to Tawang exists though a line via the nearest railhead at Bhalukpong is at the planning stage. Though legally a part of India, China claims the Tawang region for which it fought the 1962 Sino-India War. Defense of Tawang is a must at this hour. Hence an all-weather road and rail connectivity to Tawang is a priority to the Government of India.

5)Sikkim :

Gurudongmar Lake in North Sikkim

Sikkim is the smallest state of India in terms of population. Parts of Sikkim get road blockages due to heavy snowfall in winter or heavy rainfall followed by landslides during monsoon. Lachen and Lachung villages of the North Sikkim district face blockade during most of the winter period. Yuksom, Tsomgo Lake, and Nathu La pass region of West and East Sikkim, respectively, get blocked due to snow. The state is connected to the rest of India through only one major national highway, which often gets blocked in the monsoon. An all-weather train line is being laid from Sevoke railway station in West Bengal to Rangpo in Sikkim, which will provide transportation of heavy machinery to the fragile roads of the mountainous state. The Theng tunnel between Mangan and Chungthang of North Sikkim also reduced damage to the only road connecting Lachen and Lachung. The road conditions are being improved by the BRO.

Which of these is your favourite destination? Do mention in the comment section below.

Written by – Himadri Paul

Dholavira and Ramappa Temple get World Heritage Tag

At the latest 2020 and 2021 UNESCO meeting in late July 2021, Ramappa Temple of Telangana and the archaeological site of Dholavira get the UNESCO World Heritage Site tag. UNESCO couldn’t meet in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, both the lists of 2020 and 2021 were announced simultaneously at its July summit. In total, 33 sites were added as cultural or natural sites of outstanding value.

Ramappa Temple

Ramappa temple was built by the Kakatiya dynasty in the 13th century near Warangal. Ramappa temple is also called Rudreshwara temple after its prime deity, Lord Shiva. It is also said that Marco Polo also visited the site and called it “the brightest star in the galaxy of temples.” Ramappa temple is a part of a larger group of temples, The Glorious Kakatiya Temples and Gateways, which was included in the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage sites in 2019.

The other site to be added is the prehistoric Indus Valley civilization city of Dholavira. Dholavira is one of the best-preserved ancient cities, which today attracts little attention mainly due to its remoteness. Dholavira is located in Gujarat in the Great Rann of Kutch. The only other world heritage site of the Indus Valley Civilization is Mohenjo-Daro in Larkana district of Sindh, Pakistan. Dholavira shows an excellent city planning system, municipality, drainage, and also contains a citadel and a great bath. It is, no doubt, one of the greatest wonders of India.

Ancient City of Dholavira

UNESCO World Heritage sites ensure international funding for the development of the sites included in its list. The sites are decided by the Government of all countries, who nominate outstanding cultural and natural sites to UNESCO’s tentative list of world heritage sites. UNESCO then evaluates the sites, and if it follows any of the chosen criteria, it is then assigned to World Heritage Site status.

Among the sites added to UNESCO’s World Heritage Status in its 44th session in 2021, the most important ones are a prehistoric solar observatory in Peru and a vital railway line between the Elbrus and Zagros mountains in Iran connecting the Persian Gulf with the Caspian Sea. However, this year, UNESCO has also delisted the Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City. It became only the third site to be ever delisted from the World Heritage Site list.

Written by – Himadri Paul

The Story Of My Life – A Rant

The story of my life, I’m stuck at home.

With so much work, no social life and I’m broke.

Fun fact before I start – I was supposed to write this a week ago but I had 827364+ other submissions so….

This is a rant about the life of a student, and the problems I face as a student, especially after the lockdown. Please don’t take it personally and start to cry (on second thought, you can, it helps). I’d like to first address the elephant in the room – Covid19. For disrupting my social life and forcing me to lock myself up for over 6 months – not that I used to party 24/7 but come on. Being with your family all the time and them not understanding that just because I don’t go to college it DOES NOT MEAN they don’t give us tonnes of assignments and submissions which are due in like a day, sucks.

My solution to this used to be scrolling through Instagram – looking at memes and people my age achieving their goals and feeling sad but low-key inspired. But lately even Instagram has become a toxic platform wherein people who don’t even have a voter’s ID are talking about why America was better with Trump as their President or how their partner of 2 weeks left them for their best friend. 2020 is really 

All this being said (and sad), I can’t believe Covid has made my introverted self miss college, and hanging out with people. And honestly all I want right now is to go out and explore new places, try new dishes and not be stuck at home – confused about which assignment to complete when and submit where.

How Cyclones are becoming more Intense in India

The north Indian Ocean is known for deadly cyclones since cyclones have been recorded. However, in the last decade, cyclones are showing a tendency of intensifying rapidly in a very short time. Such a trend has produced frequent devastating cyclones in both the east and the west coast of the country. Though there were many intense cyclones in the past, they were much rarer compared to what we see in the last few years. It is expected that global warming has a contribution to it. The question is, in what way!

North Indian Ocean sees an average of 5 cyclones a year. However, cyclones tend to form mainly in the Bay of Bengal and during May and October. The chance of cyclone formation in the rest of the year and in the Arabian Sea is comparatively much less. The latest trend shows that cyclones are scattered throughout the year, while more than one cyclone can exist at the same time in different parts of the north Indian Ocean. There is also a trend of cyclones showing sudden explosive intensification or less chance of weakening before hitting the coast. Moreover, the relatively quieter Arabian Sea has seen a sudden growth in cyclones and erratic rainfall (sudden hefty rain followed by drought) in recent years. Let us discuss these with examples.

Taking the year 2013, we all remember the cyclone Phailin causing havoc in south Odisha and north Andhra Pradesh. Phailin developed as a precursor low from the South China Sea. Two more cyclones followed, Helen and Lehar, both having their roots in typhoons of the South China Sea. So, we can see that the Bay of Bengal itself was not responsible for forming these cyclones. Except Phailin, Helen, Lehar, Madi and all other cyclones weakened before landfall. And the Arabian Sea was much quieter with the formation of just one depression.

In 2019, the earliest formed tropical cyclone, Pabuk, entered the Andaman Sea from the Gulf of Thailand on 4th January. The destructive Fani formed in late April close to Sumatra. Fani intensified rapidly from a cyclonic storm to an extremely severe cyclonic storm in less than 48 hours. Such rapid intensification started trends of rapidly intensifying cyclones in the North Indian Ocean. Very severe cyclonic storm Vayu, extremely severe cyclonic storm Maha, and super cyclonic storm Kyarr spared the lands as they turned away from land and fizzed out in the sea. The basin also saw rarest of its kind cyclones Kyarr and Maha, raging at the Arabian Sea at the same instant. Also, cyclones Maha in the Arabian Sea and Bulbul in the Bay of Bengal form and develop simultaneously. IMD called these two phenomena rarest of rarest. Such phenomenon of two cyclones existing simultaneously at the same basin was observed for the first time in 2018 when very severe cyclonic storms Luban and Titli raged the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal at the same time, and cyclones Mekunu following the heels of cyclone Sagar in the Arabian Sea.

Damages by Cyclone Tauktae

Amphan in 2020 was one of the strongest cyclones to be ever formed in the Bay of Bengal, and comparative to the 1999 Odisha cyclone. Amphan intensified beyond recognition from a cyclonic storm to a super cyclone in less than 24 hours. The rapid intensification of Amphan proved beyond doubt that cyclones are turning more devastating in recent years. Gati, which followed in the autumn of 2020, also underwent rapid intensification from 65km/hr to 185km/hr in just 12 hours. Cyclone Tauktae was initially expected to be much less intense, which underwent rapid intensification overnight before making landfall in Gujarat in 2021.

There have also been instances of cyclones changing paths just before landfall, giving little time for preparation. Cyclone Tauktae was initially forecasted to spare the Indian coast and move towards Pakistan or hit the coast near Dwarka. It changed the track after intensification and reached the Diu coast much before the anticipated time. Cyclone Ockhi of 2017 didn’t show any signs of intensification until near Kanyakumari, when it suddenly intensified rapidly before forecasted, causing fishers in the sea to be caught by surprise. Amphan too steered more towards the metropolitan city of Kolkata than anticipated causing massive destruction in the city.

Two tornadoes formed due to cyclone Yaas, one in Bandel and another in Ashoknagar of West Bengal, caused significant destruction to these places. Tornadoes are extremely rare in the North Indian Ocean but have recently surfaced here. The first considerable tornado recorded was formed in Cyclone Nisarga that struck Alibaug near Mumbai in 2020. Tornadoes are previously not forecasted, and hence, they are more dangerous to the public. Their place and time of formation are still unpredictable since tornadoes are a new entity in this basin.

Cyclone Yaas causing high storm surges

The most destructive feature of a landfalling cyclone is the storm surge. Lakhs of people are to be evacuated from low lying and erosion-prone areas and are relocated to cyclone shelters before a storm hits the land. However, many villagers do not want to leave their land, and thus cause destruction. In 2020 and 2021, most of these cyclone shelters are being used for Covid-19 treatment. Thus arises the need for new cyclone shelter locations, which hardly exist in remote villages. Storm surge of Fani, Amphan, Tauktae, and Yaas caused significant damage along the coast. Seawater reached areas far from the sea, damaging crops, livestock, forests and houses. Amphan and Yaas breached several earthen dams, which were previously never breached before. Both Amphan and Yaas reached mangrove island areas in eastern India that are rural, remote, but heavily populated. Covid-19 restrictions at the time of landfall of these cyclones hampered people movement, thus causing more damage than anticipated. Tauktae moved parallel to the west coast, flooding most of it in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra before reaching the Gujarat coast.

Also, desert areas of Yemen, Oman and Arabia, which are more prone to floods, are experiencing a sudden growth of cyclones. Even moderate rainfall in deserts is enough to cause catastrophic floods as the sandy soil is not accustomed to holding moisture. Cyclone Mekunu caused seven years worth of rain in a single day in parts of Yemen. Back to back cyclones of Chapala and Megh in 2015 caused record-breaking rainfall and flash floods in Socotra island and Yemen and Somalia overall. Cyclone Hikaa in 2019 and cyclone Ashobaa in 2015 and the super cyclone Gonu way back in 2007 reached the Omani coast dumping years’ worth of rain, floods and destruction.

Evacuation before Cyclone Amphan hit West Bengal

Minimizing global warming, deforestation, and curbing air pollution can be a long term solution, but what is in need of the hour is short term solutions. The Government has to take the initiative to build more cyclone shelters all along the coast and in the islands as the place is entirely safe from cyclone landfalling. The earthen dams are needed to be repaired at frequent intervals as their destruction has also become more frequent. The houses are to be built only in higher areas in the coastal plains. Illegal occupation of land by hotel and tourist companies along the coast needed to be stopped as such construction only loosens the topsoil that can be easily eroded. Most importantly, people need to be aware of the growth of devastating cyclones to protect themselves and lend a hand in rescuing others who are in need.

Written by – Himadri Paul