New law could jail doctors for negligence: UK
London: The British government is proposing a new law that could jail doctors and nurses for up to five years, if they are convicted of "willful negligence."
The proposed legislation is part of a set of new proposals, outlined today, that are meant to address problems revealed by a series of catastrophic failures at the Stafford Hospital in central England, when hundreds of patients died unnecessarily from 2005 to 2009.
The government plans to create a new criminal offense for medical professionals who have deliberately neglected or mistreated patients. But some doctors` groups said such a law would make health professionals defensive and fearful, and that existing measures already deal with negligent care.
In a speech in the British House of Commons today, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said a "profound transformation" is needed in the culture of the government`s free health care system.
"We need to face up to the hard truths," he said, saying the proposed measures would create a transparent culture where patients would be able to do things like check hospital safety records online. Hospitals also would be obliged to inform patients or their relatives of any mistakes made by medical professionals resulting in death or serious harm, whether or not such information was explicitly requested.
In a report on the Stafford Hospital scandal published in February, investigators described its care as "appalling" and said the most basic standards were not met.
The report described "patients left in excrement-soiled bed clothes for lengthy periods" and noted that "staff treated patients and those close to them with what appeared to be callous indifference."
The new law also would make it a criminal offense for a medical professional to obstruct someone else treating patients, to mislead patients or their families about such an incident, or to lie to an investigator about the incident.
Doctors` groups called the proposed changes unneeded and detrimental.
"We believe the introduction of a statutory duty of candor with criminal sanctions ... Would not add anything substantive," the British Medical Association said in a statement. It said the threat of criminal prosecution could "worsen the culture of fear amongst professionals that prevents people speaking out."
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- What Muslims think about Ram Mandir issue?
- Anti-Romeo squad launched: Has moral policing started in UP?
- Martyrs' Day: Nation remembers Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru for their sacrifice
- London terrorist attack leaves five dead, including police officer
- Do not put unnecessary pressure on police: PM Modi tells UP BJP MPs
- Hukumdev Narain Yadav to be new Vice-President of India?
- 400 Trinamool Congress members including many TMC stalwarts join BJP in Tripura
- Unable to meet educational expenses, Muslim girl writes to PM Narendra Modi – Know what happened next
- Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Rajguru were hanged on 23 March 1931 – This is how PM Modi paid tribute today
- Mulayam Singh Yadav's son Prateek, his daughter-in-law Aparna meet UP CM Yogi Adityanath - Know why