What is Medical Negligence?
Negligence is simply the failure to exercise due care. It occurs when a doctor fails to perform to the standards of his or her profession. The three ingredients of negligence are as follows: 1. The defendant owes a duty of care to the plaintiff. 2. The defendant has breached this duty of care. 3. The plaintiff has suffered an injury due to this breach.
What is a medical malpractice ?
A medical malpractice is a claim of negligence committed by a professional health care provider -- such as a doctor, nurse, dentist, technician, hospital or hospital worker -- whose treatment of a patient departs from a standard of care met by those with similar training and experience, resulting in harm to a patient or patients.
Is Medical Negligence covered under Consumer Protection Act ?
Yes in 1995, the Supreme Court brought the medical profession under the Consumer Protection Act 1986 and medical treatments were labeled as ?services?.
Does someone who is not satisfied with the results of his or her surgery have viable medical negligence claim?
In general, there are no guarantees of medical results, and unexpected or unsuccessful results do not necessarily mean negligence has occurred. To succeed in a medical negligence case, a consumer has to show an injury or damages that resulted from the doctor's deviation from the standard of care applicable to the procedure.
Can a Doctor Guarantee Complete success of the Medical Treatment?
No. The Doctor cannot guarantee the complete success of any medical treatment as the same would differ in case to case , depending on the age and health of the patient, the stage of the Ailment and the body response of the patient .
Is Informed consent required during Treatment?
Informed Consent from the patient is required in serious ailments and surgical treatment. In case the patient is unable to give consent, the same needs to be taken from the immediate family or attendant. However, medical treatment cannot be delayed in case there is no one available to sign the consent and the patient is unable to sign the same due to medical conditions.
What should I do if I have suffered from Medical Negligence?
You may first send written complaint to the Medical Superintendent (M.S) of the concerned Hospital with copy to Chief Medical Officer (CMO)/ Civil Surgeon of your area. If there is no reply or if you are not satisfied with the reply of the concerned official, then you should send a written complaint to the State Medical Council (SMC). In case if you are not satisfied with reply of SMC then you can send your complaint to the Medical Council of India. MCI. If there is criminal type complaint then the affected consumer can file a complaint with the local Police Station. However, expert opinion will be required to register any police complaint. You can also file a complaint with the Consumer Forum/ Commission, Civil Court and Criminal Court as the case may be, for seeking damages arising out of medical Negligence.
What should accompany my complaint for Medical Negligence?
You may approach the Consumer foras by filing a complaint bringing out facts from your first visit to the doctor till your last contact with him or her. A second opinion from a Medical expert supporting the claim of negligence, along with the medical records will strengthen the claim.
What are the Rights available to a patient?
? The patient?s rights as a consumer are as follows: ? Patients have the right to be told about their illness; to have their medical records explained. ? Patients should be explained about whatever treatment/medicines are prescribed to them. They should be made aware of the risks and side effects, if any. They have the right to ask questions and clarify their doubts about the treatment. ? Patients have the right to know a doctor?s qualifications. ? Patients have the right to be handled with consideration and due regard for their modesty when being physically examined by the doctor. ? Patients have the right to maintain confidentiality regarding their illness and can expect the same from the doctors. ? Patients have the right to a second opinion if they are doubtful about the medicines or treatment suggested. ? Patients have the right to know what a suggested operation/surgery is for and the possible risks involved. If he/she is unconscious or unable to make the decision due to other reasons, informed consent needs to be taken from their nearest relatives. ? Patients have the right to get their medical records / case papers on request from the doctor /hospital. ? If the patient needs to be moved to another hospital, he / she has the right to know the reason for it and also has the right to make his or her own choice in consultation with the doctor. ? Patients have the right to get details of the bills they have paid for.