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

Partial Lockdown vs Complete Lockdown Conditions

As the second wave of Covid-19 wrecks havoc in many states, there is again the need for a lockdown phase 2. This time first partial lockdown was imposed, which was expected to slow down the spread of the virus. But the reality was just the opposite. Hence complete lockdown was imposed in most states. The importance of lockdown during Covid-19 times was felt as the second wave has started to decrease from a peak value. So why was complete lockdown not imposed as soon as the number of cases rose? Let us now compare between partial and complete lockdown and understand which solution is more practical. Note that lockdown itself is not enough to save you. Instead, everyone has to strictly follow all Covid-19 guidelines and maintain good health and hygiene.

In lockdown phase 1, when the whole country underwent a strict and complete lockdown, much middle class lost their means of livelihood, the people suffered a lot, and the migrant workers and students got stuck in unknown places. Thus the Government does not want to impose such stringent measures around the country that may impact most citizens. This time around, the states were asked to impose partial or complete lockdown to curb the spread of the virus. So many states imposed a partial lockdown when the number of cases started rising. However, it didn’t work out at all due to the negligence of the citizens. Let us now see why partial lockdown failed in most regions.

Partial lockdown hardly reached anybody’s ears. It has become a norm that as long as the police do not arrest anybody, it is safe to disobey Government rules and regulations in lockdown. The Governments are to be blamed as well. The Kumbha Mela at Haridwar turned out to be the biggest super spreader of Covid-19 in the world. People from all over the country gathered at Haridwar to take a bath in the Holy Ganga during Kumbha Mela. Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand happened to be the primary source of the Mumbai strain of the Sars-Cov-2 virus after Mumbai. Also to be blamed are the election rallies in Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Kerala and Assam that accounted for a significant outbreak of the virus in these states. The markets are to be blamed as well. There was a sudden urge of everybody to go out shopping, and in February and March, people behaved as if there was never any pandemic situation here. The Chaitra sale in Kolkata looked as if pre-pandemic times had returned. Schools reopened only to be shut down immediately due to teachers and students getting affected.

Amidst all these, Delhi, Mumbai and Lucknow were the worst affected cities that faced a severe oxygen crisis. The travellers were by far responsible for spreading the virus to some metropolitan cities and rural countryside. Today, a chunk of the country’s population are migrant workers, and a significant number of middle-class families are tourism-lovers. The Bengal strain, an escape immunity variant of Sars-Cov-2, had actually spread in January 2021, when the tourism-lovers visited tourist places and workers migrated to other states for work when lockdown restrictions were lifted.

However, complete lockdown instead of partial lockdown worked in favour of curbing the spread of coronavirus. It is evident from the figures that peak was achieved in many states in mid-May, and the number of cases has declined since. Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Telangana, Tamil Nadu have battled the coronavirus and are now looking forward to easing lockdown restrictions. However, this time the Government is not taking it lightly, as the severity of the second wave forced the Government and the citizens to be aware of an even more destructive third wave shortly. Also, vaccination drive has hoped to limit the damage caused by Sars-Cov-19 in the body.

With Bengal, Odisha, Assam and some other states yet to reach their peak caseload, it is expected that despite easing situations in other parts, these states still have to maintain their lockdown restrictions to minimize further damage by Covid-19. One of the best practical moves is creating awareness and enforcing a few conditions for a few more weeks so that there is not much congestion of people in a particular area. Limitation of market hours, refrain from rallies, festivals, and gatherings, restriction of people’s movement through public transport are good options. The Home-delivery system should be increased and implemented in as many fields as possible. Virtual conferences, online classes, and work from home should be a part of the new normal until the virus is eliminated from the country. If China can do it, New Zealand can do it, Australia and some other countries can do it, then we Indians can do it as well.

Written by – Himadri Paul

BLACK FUNGUS – AN EPIDEMIC

What is black fungus:-.

Black fungus targeting covid-19 patients in India:-

India has reported infections with mucormycosis, often termed “Black fungus”, in patients with covid-19 positive and recovering from coronavirus. In March 2021, 41 cases of covid-19 associated with mucormycosis had been documented around the world, with 70 per cent in India. Reports recommended the number of cases is presently a lot higher, which is evident given the current flood of covid-19 disease in India. Earlier mucormycosis was not notified like malaria, and hence its cases were not recorded and not stored in a database. Till now, there is no official figure on the total points of black fungus. The union health ministry for state and union territories to declare black fungus as an epidemic.

Specialists accept mucormycosis, which has a general death pace of half, might be being set off by using steroids, a daily existence saving treatment for extreme and fundamentally sick Covid-19 patients.

Steroids lessen aggravation in the lungs for Covid-19 and seem to help stop a portion of the harm that can happen when the body’s insusceptible framework goes into overdrive to fend off Covid. However, they additionally lessen invulnerability and push up glucose levels in the two diabetics and non-diabetic Covid-19 patients.

It’s the idea that this drop in resistance could be setting off these instances of mucormycosis.

Symptoms of mucormycosis:-

According to medical experts, the primary fungus infection refaces, which is referred to as “rhino cerebral mucormycosis”, and may even cause different facial deformities.

1) Black crust around the nose- the formation of black crust, swelling in and around the nasal passage and the eyes in a particular attribute.

2) Headache and swelling around the forehead-perhaps the most extreme confusions with black fungus happens when it spreads to the cerebrum and causes anxious aggravation. Headaches, swelling redness, pain in the forehead could be initial signs.

3) Swelling in cheeks eyes are parts of the face- pain in the cheekbone are experiencing one-sided facial pain sore short of numbness, and it may also lead to skin infections.

4) Vision loss / partial blindness- Some office may undergo symptoms like redness in the eye, eye pain, partial blindness or loss of vision.

5) Pulmonary functions-as the moulds are inhaled by the patient, the fungi can spread and grow through the respiratory passage and affect the lungs. It causes nose bleeds, nasal blockage, cough, chest pain which are some respiratory systems connected to covid-19.

Challenges in treating black fungus:-

The treatment requires multidisciplinary skill because the contagious disease spreads through the nose and eyes and can arrive at the cerebrum.

Treatment included precisely eliminating all the dead and contaminated tissue. In certain patients, this may bring about loss of the upper jaw sometimes, even the eye.

The fix may likewise include a 4-6 week course of intravenous antifungal treatment. Since it influences different parts of the body, therapy requires a group of microbiologists, inside medication specialists, intensive nervous system specialists, ENT subject matter experts, ophthalmologists, dental specialists and others.

Controlling diabetes is one of the preeminent anticipation strategies proposed by ICMR. Thus Coronavirus patients who are diabetic need to take the most extreme consideration. The prevention is checking our sugar levels on time and proper intake of food. Patients recovering from covid-19 should be tested in time to keep their right diabetic level. Doctors have to be precise with the black fungal infection treatment drugs on intravenous antifungal injection that is said to be effective in preventing the black fungus. The price of this medicine is said to be around 3500 INR. According to the data, there has been a reduction of 99 per cent of the disease in patients after introducing this drug. Self medicine and over measurements of steroids can bring about lethal occasions, and consequently, specialists’ solutions ought to be stringently followed.

Source:- The Indian express, NDTV, BBC, CNN

Written by – R Mohamed Irfan