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Medical Negligence FAQs


In 1995, the Supreme Court brought the medical profession under the Consumer Protection Act 1986 and medical treatments were labeled as ‘services’. Now, it is not mandatory for the Consumer Forum / Commission to refer every medical negligence case for expert opinion, they can decide the same at their own level (V. Kishan Rao vs Nikhil Super Specialty Hospital, Civil Appeal No. 2641 of 2010 SC.).

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.

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The Consumer Protection Act

An Act to provide for better protection of the interests of consumers and for that purpose to make provision...


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