Volume 2 Issue 7

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Medical professionals should be legally protected from bonafide errors

Date of News: 


Date of Publication: 


Unique ID:


Name of the Author: 

Sarthak Dixit

Field of Law: 

Health Law

Content of News:

The High Court of Karnataka, while quashing a 12-year-old medical negligence complaint against a doctor, warned against the new tendency of patients and their relatives filing medical negligence suits carelessly. The court stated that "compensation culture," which exists in other jurisdictions, is progressively making its way into the sphere of medical services in our society, posing a threat to a good doctor-patient relationship. �Compensation culture which obtains in other jurisdictions is gradually gaining entry into the field of medical services in our society, affecting a healthy relationship of doctors and patients,� the court observed. The court listed the motives of persons seeking compensation, stating that a considerable portion of medical negligence lawsuits do not contain genuine claims. The judge stated that 'compensation culture,' which can be true or false in varied degrees, has resulted in risk aversion. Those medical practitioners who have been accused of wrongdoing get the feeling that there's a problem unjustified attack on their professional reputation and integrity. If public officials can be legally protected for genuine faults in their actions, there is no reason why medical practitioners cannot be similarly protected. The Court stated that "there is nothing on record to show that the alleged deficiency in professional service accelerated the process of health deterioration that eventually resulted in her death...; and there is no reasonable connect..." despite the fact that medical records, including the KMC order, prima facie show that the cause of death is a serious bacterial infection contracted by the woman after a huge time gap between the angioplasty and the patient's death. The court sought to clarify, however, that doctors' profession is one in which service, not profit, should be the goal; as with any other profession, they are not immune from legal action for medical check negligence.