Medical Law Case Study

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TRYST OF MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS WITH LAW Abstract Presently the formal medical curriculum in all medical schools of India have very limited mention regarding the various laws and regulations that pertain to medical practice. Due to this deficient training in legal matters, physicians are ignorant of even basic risk-management principles and so they are working under persistent fear of lawsuits. Future medical practitioner should know the legal principle in Latin “Ignorantia juris non excusat” (English translation is that "ignorance of the law is no excuse”). Currently practicing physicians are absolutely ill-equipped to handle the legal problems of modern day medical practice and they actually learn their bare legal necessities of managing a…show more content…
Throughout the medical curriculum he is only taught about patient’s illness, diagnosis, investigation and treatment. Such a physician after passing out from medical school is suddenly pushed into a world of not only patient disease and its management but also to the practical realities of various rules and regulations where even a difference of clinical judgement is treated as negligence and he has to defend his clinical acumen in court of law. The day medical profession has been covered under Consumer Protection Act, it has been recognized as a professional business by the legal community. Both Doctors & patients have to face the bitter truth that the dynamics of doctor- patient relationship has now been transformed from a healer of patient’s illness to a consumer (i.e. patient) who is availing medical service like any other service industry. Though medical profession has been considered as a business, still in India doctors are expected to perform their duties under highest standards of medical ethics (aka Hippocratic Oath). People in India are not aware that the Hippocratic code is framed in such a language that, if interpreted as-is, almost every doctor in India will be guilty of ‘professional misconduct’ (reminding one of the Indian Penal Code’s archaic section 377, which, if interpreted…show more content…
It also induces physicians to take unnecessary risk-management decisions based on myth rather than fact—leading to the much-maligned practice of "defensive medicine" which leads to increased financial burden to patients. Out of misunderstanding of law, physicians are in fact practicing defensive medicine by giving more emphasis on evidence-based medicine by performing unnecessary investigations and hospitalizations thus leading to disservice of their patients. Educating medical students about law and the legal system The study of jurisprudence--law, legal reasoning, and the legal system--has become a necessity for physicians since it helps them in their medical practice to effectively deal with patient related legal issues during health care delivery and also to effectively collaborate with lawyers as and when required. The medical curricula should encompass the entire medicolegal aspect right from what legal matters should be taught and by whom, when and how including the constant evaluation of the topics relevant at various points of time. Goals of medicolegal

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