Medico Legal Supreme Court Judgement
After taking note of all the submissions of both parties, as well as their versions of medical treatment, the Supreme Court stated: “Doctors can provide the best medical assistance at their disposal, but just because they could not save the patient, it could not be considered a case of postoperative medical negligence, although the medical protocol administered by them by the two medical experts in the field, who appeared on behalf of the respondents, Drs. S. Sundar and Arun Kumar, and nothing escapes cross-examination by the appellants. In the circumstances of the present case, the Commission`s findings do not require further intervention by the Court. 32. Terms referring to acts include unlawful omissions. – In each part of this Code, unless the context indicates a contrary intent, the words designating acts also extend to unlawful omissions. e) Professional secrecy: A physician has a moral and legal obligation not to disclose information or knowledge that he or she learns confidentially from his or her patient, and such disclosure is a privileged communication. The two doctors at the center of the Supreme Court case (who are currently serving more than 20 years in prison) are both awaiting lower court decisions on their right to retrial. One of them, Xiulu Ruan, was accused of running a clinic that issued 300,000 prescriptions for painkillers in four years, including a potent form of fentanyl made by a company in which Ruan was a major investor. The other, Shakeel Kahn, was accused of issuing prescriptions in Arizona and Wyoming in exchange for money and firearms.
This decision makes very pragmatic observations in the midst of several judgments against health care professionals and hospitals, especially when an arbitral award is made on the basis of benevolent considerations. It is encouraging to note that the Supreme Court is considering the issues of the medical profession and medical negligence holistically and with the utmost consideration. Voluntary compensation to doctors and hospitals is not appropriate. The decision of the Supreme Court of the State of Punjab v. Shiv Ram and Ors., IV (2005) CPJ 14 (SC) on a lawsuit alleging unsuccessful family planning surgery due to negligence of a doctor can be described as an important milestone for many reasons. First, the Supreme Court ruled that doctors and hospitals should not be burdened with harm unless they are found to be negligent. The Apex tribunal found that it was not appropriate to award voluntary compensation to doctors and hospitals without finding negligence. The court also found that the establishment of a social protection fund or insurance system was necessary. The failure of successful sterilization is due to causes other than medical negligence, and the state government should consider developing and meeting with a welfare fund or working with insurance companies. The Apex Tribunal further found that the operating surgeon or her employer cannot be held liable for paying compensation for an unwanted pregnancy or child simply because a woman who underwent sterilization surgery became pregnant and gave birth to a child. A tort claim is only defensible if the surgeon acted negligently in performing an operation or if the surgeon ensured a 100% exclusion of pregnancy after the operation.
The proof of negligence must meet the Bolam test. The cause of the failure of the sterilization process can be determined by laparoscopic inspection of the fallopian tubes, by radiographic examination or by pathological examination of the material removed during a subsequent resterilization operation. The cause of action in failed sterilization is due to the negligence of the surgeon and not to the loss of birth due to natural causes. 66. The applicant`s failure to fulfil its legal duty towards the patient and the failure to perform the act itself did not alter that conclusion. This was not the cause of death of the patient, which was undoubtedly due to acute chronic cancer. In such a scenario, it is enough to stay out of the clutches of criminal law.