Medical fraternity welcomes SC ruling on doctors
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Last Updated: Friday, February 12, 2010, 10:39
New Delhi: With the Supreme Court ruling that doctors cannot be "unnecessarily harassed" due to alleged medical negligence, the medical fraternity has welcomed it saying it will allow professionals to work without stress.

"This is what we had been struggling for. The society should not create a situation where doctors are working under stress," Medical Council of India President Ketan Desai told a news agency.

He asserted that no doctor will take a decision which will harm the patient as this will ruin the pratice of any medical professional.

"A doctor thrives only on the goodwill of his patients. Why he should do anything to ruin his reputation," Desai questioned.

The court said to prosecute a medical professional for negligence under criminal law it must be shown that the accused did something or failed to do something which in the given facts and circumstances no medical professional in his ordinary senses and prudence would have done or failed to do.

However, it clarified that "we should not be understood to have held that doctors can never be prosecuted for medical negligence".

According to Dr Narendra Saini, member of the Indian Medical Association, the Supreme Court has really understood the problem of the medical professionals.

"A doctor is not a machine. For one problem there can be different solutions. It is upto a doctor to decide which one is the best. He or she should not be victimised if that does not work out," he said.

The court has held that the medical practitioners at times also have to be saved from such a class of complainants who use criminal process as a tool for pressurising the hospitals, particularly private hospitals or clinics, for extracting uncalled for compensation.

Arguing that doctors should be allowed to work without fear and stress, Desai said, "Every doctor takes decisions according to their experience and skills. This should not be construed as negligence".

According to current rules, anyone who has a complaint against any medical practitioner has to first complain with the state medical councils.

If the state council fails to take any action within six months, then the complainant has a right to approach the MCI.

Over the last three years the MCI has suspended or debarred around 400 doctors for medical malpractices.


First Published: Friday, February 12, 2010, 10:39

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