The Doctor of Medicine and Medical Law. ENT Surgeon I Healthcare Administrator I Lead Mentor : Medico-Legal Systems, The Art of Medicine Academy
Covid-19 or otherwise, the rising number of cases of medical negligence against doctors are a cause of concern. They raise two important questions : Are some of our doctors 'Careless', or is the public being more 'Conscious' ?
Be it as it may - in an era of social media , a case of medical negligence can ruin a medical practitioner's career . It is important for a doctor and his or her team to be aware of the common pitfalls and learn how to avoid them.
Welcome to Dr.Rupali's - first in a set of blogs, articles, course modules and webinars, on the issue of Medical Negligence - Prevention and Therapies.
“You learn from your mistakes” is a famous quote by Thierry Henry. However, in our medical profession, it is better we learn from the mistakes of others.
We do not get an opportunity to undo a mistake once we have committed it, and chances are - if handled poorly, we might land in legal, professional, mental and financial trouble.
It's so undeniably true that a doctor works really hard for to build a name in the fraternity and society. He or she is more worried for the credibility, reputation and practice restrictions - much more than any financial penalties. A name can be tarnished forever - once a legal proceeding is carried out against him or her in a court of law.
He or she might even lose confidence. So 'prevention of acts of omission', is the biggest cure.
'To Err is Human', and a doctor is human. Mistakes can -and will, happen. The course of a patient's disease or a medico-legal case, are at most times unpredictable, and therefore "an Ounce of Prevention, is worth a Pound of Cure".
There are still a lot of grey areas regarding particular laws. Apart from few acts like MTP, PCPNDT, organ transplantation act etc. some rules are still not explained by MCI / NMC nor any governing body. They have been given in various judgements delivered by the courts of India. It is not easy to read all these judgements delivered by the courts, for the doctors to read. So basic understanding of common laws is very necessary.
The most common areas where we land in trouble are :
Doctors who were once considered "Demi-Gods" are now finding it very difficult to build and maintain bonds of 'Trust' and 'Trust-Worthiness' with the patients.
There are multiple and varied reasons for litigations.
Minor reasons :
Have you ever wondered : Why a circular pizza is packed in a square box and eaten in triangles ? And there lies the secret of a successful career in medical practice.
It's knowing what exactly the patient, medicine and the law requires, to have a happy and healthy practice. And prevention by having a basic knowledge and understanding of Medical Laws, is an essential cure ; to prevent medical negligence cases against you.
Originally published October 16, 2021