Srinagar: Aryans College of Law organised a seminar on medical negligence and its legal framework in India on Sunday.
A statement of the Aryans issued here said that Advocate Devika Mishra of the Delhi High Court was the keynote speaker and Advocate Priyanka Yadav was the moderator.
It said that Chairman Aryans Group Anshu Kataria presided over the seminar while Advocate Mishra interacted with students of Aryans including students of LLB, BA-LLB, B Pharma, D Pharma, B Sc Nursing, GNM, and ANM.
Mishra said that the procedure for reporting and suing for medical negligence in India was dependent upon the different actions maintainable in law against medical practitioners.
“Any medical procedure that was performed according to the rules of the medical profession with the consent of an informed patient and performed by a qualified person does not come within the scope of criminal behavior, even if a harmful outcome for the life and health of a patient does occur. On the other hand, even if just one condition is not fulfilled, a medical procedure may result in criminal responsibility,” she said.
Mishra also discussed that the consequences of medical negligence include civil or monetary liability under the Consumer Protection Act and the Law of Torts, criminal liability under Sections 304-A, 337, and 338 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and disciplinary action under the Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette, and Ethics) Regulations, 2002.
She said that defences for a doctor were available under Sections 80, 81, and 88 of the IPC.
Advocate Priyanka Yadav said that the basic knowledge of how judicial forums deal with cases relating to medical negligence was of absolute necessity for medical practitioners.
“The need for such knowledge is greater now than before in light of the higher premium being placed by the Indian forums on the value of human life and suffering and in all cases, the medical professionals are not at fault,” she said and elucidated the advisory for doctors and safeguards from criminal prosecution.
While discussing the landmark judgments of the Supreme Court, Yadav said that in Dr Suresh Gupta versus the Government of NCT Delhi, the court held that mere lack of necessary care, attention, or skill was observed to be insufficient to hold one criminally liable for negligence.
“The court in Jacob Mathew versus the State of Punjab stated that to establish the existence of criminal rashness or criminal negligence, it must be established that the rashness was of such a degree as to amount to taking a hazard knowing that the hazard was of such a degree that injury was most likely imminent. The Supreme Court in V Kishan Rao versus Nikhil Super Speciality Hospital observed the need to reconsider the parameters set down in the Bolam test that is the standard of the ordinary skilled man exercising and professing to have that special skill, and not of ‘the highest expert skill,’” she said.
HoD Aryans College of Law, Sanskriti Rana discussed the Samira Kohli versus Dr Prabha Manchanda case in which the Supreme Court held that consent taken for the diagnostic procedure or surgery was not valid for performing therapeutic surgery, either conservative or radical, except in life-threatening or emergent situations.
“In Indian Medical Assn versus V P Shantha, the medical profession was brought under the Consumer Protection Act. The result is that many doctors have stopped giving (even as family physicians) morphia or pethidine injections even in emergencies, even though, from the symptoms, the doctor honestly thought that the patient was having a heart attack,” Rana said.
Principal of Aryans Institute of Nursing Nidhi Chopra said that medical practitioners should not be harassed under the garb of medical malpractice cases.
Referring to the recent incident of the suicide of a doctor in Rajasthan where the doctor had fallen victim to harassment allegedly by the relatives of patients, she emphasised the urgent need for laying down comprehensive guidelines for the protection of doctors who were being physically assaulted regularly on issues relating to the treatment of patients.
The seminar was attended by law and nursing students from Aryans.
Director Aryans Group B S Sidhu, Deputy Director Garima Thakur, Dean Academics Kusum Sood, Navneet Kaur, Preetika, Jaskiran, Priyanka Bansal, Divya, Jaspreet, Manpreet, Jagtar, Neelu and other faculty members were also present on the occasion.