Arvind Shah v. Kamlaben Kushwaha
Citation: III (2009) CPJ 121
Bench: R. C. Jain and Anupam Dasgupta
The case deals with the fact that services have to be rendered with due care and in accordance with the Law.
- In the given case, it was alleged by the appellant that his son (20 years old) dies due to the medical negligence on part of the doctor.
- The State Commission awarded a compensation of Rs. 5 Lakh to the complainant.
- An appeal was filed in the National Commission.
- The National Commission observed that the two prescriptions that were available on record neither contained any description of the symptoms that the patient was experiencing nor did it have any preliminary vital information that a doctor is mandated to check, as per the guidelines and regulation of the Medical Council of India or the concerned State Medical Council, like body temperature, blood pressure, pulse rate, prior medical history et cetera.
The National Commission held that failure to put such essentials in the prescription amounted to medical negligence. Doctor was negligent on his part, but the death of the complainant’s son cannot be attributed directly to the negligence on part of the doctor. Hence, the National Commission scaled down the compensation to Rs. 2.5 Lakh. The doctor in this case should have acted in a reasonable manner and with due care and caution, which he didn’t.
The reliance should be placed on the codes, ethics and practices of the medical professionals’ regulatory bodies and it should be noted that every doctor while treating a patient, even outpatients, is under a responsibility to record basic health parameters such as blood pressure, temperature, pulse rate etc. This is provided under guidelines of the Medical Council of India as well. This record must also include brief summary of the symptoms, past illnesses. This is a primary duty of disclosure owed by the physician to the patient. Thus, failure to record such details constitutes medical negligence.