Medical Negligence Cases Law India

Friday, 29 March 2013

Medical Negligence Cases Judgments


"The courts and Consumer Fora are not experts in medical science, and must not substitute their own views over that of specialists. It is true that the medical profession has to an extent become commercialized and there are many doctors who depart from their Hippocratic oath for their selfish ends of making money. However, the entire medical fraternity cannot be blamed or branded as lacking in integrity or competence just because of some bad apples.
124. It must be remembered that sometimes despite their best efforts the treatment of a doctor fails. For instance, sometimes despite the best effort of a surgeon, the patient dies. That does not mean that the doctor or the surgeon must be held to be guilty of medical negligence, unless there is some strong evidence to suggest that he is.
125. On the facts of this particular case, we are of the opinion that the appellant was not guilty of medical negligence. Resultantly, the appeal is allowed; the impugned judgment and order of the National Commission is set aside. No costs."

Citation:

SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

Martin F. D'Souza vs Mohd. Ishfaq 
Author: M Katju
Bench: G Singhvi], [ Katju]
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 3541 OF 2002
Martin F. D'Souza .. Appellant
-versus-
Mohd. Ishfaq .. Respondent
JUDGMENT
MARKANDEY KATJU, J.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 "This Court however makes it clear that before the consumer Fora if any of the parties wants to adduce expert evidence, the members of the Fora by applying their mind to the facts and circumstances of the case and the materials on record can allow the parties to adduce such evidence if it is appropriate to do so in the facts of the case. The discretion in this matter is left to the members of Fora especially when retired judges of Supreme Court and High Court are appointed to head National Commission and the State Commission respectively. Therefore, these questions are to be judged on the facts of each case and there cannot be a mechanical or strait jacket approach that each and every case must be referred to experts for evidence. When the Fora finds that expert evidence is required, the Fora must keep in mind that an expert witness in a given case normally discharges two functions. The first duty of the expert is to explain the technical issues as clearly as possible so that it can be understood by a common man. The other function is to assist the Fora in deciding whether the acts or omissions of the medical practitioners or the hospital constitute negligence. In doing so, the expert can throw considerable light on the current 36
state of knowledge in medical science at the time when the patient was treated. In most of the cases the question whether a medical practitioner or the hospital is negligent or not is a mixed question of fact and law and the Fora is not bound in every case to accept the opinion of the expert witness. Although, in many cases the opinion of the expert witness may assist the Fora to decide the controversy one way or the other.

55. For the reasons discussed above, this Court holds that it is not bound by the general direction given in paragraph 106 in D'souza (supra). This Court further holds that in the facts and circumstances of the case expert evidence is not required and District Forum rightly did not ask the appellant to adduce expert evidence. Both State Commission and the National Commission fell into an error by opining to the contrary. This Court is constrained to set aside the orders passed by the State Commission and the National Commission and restores the order passed by the District Forum. The respondent no.1 is directed to pay the appellant the amount granted in his favour by the District Forum within ten weeks from date. 37
56. The appeal is thus allowed with costs assessed at Rs.10,000/- to be paid by the respondent No.1 to the appellant within ten weeks."

Citation:


IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO.2641_ OF 2010
(Arising out of SLP(C) No.15084/2009)
V. Kishan Rao ..Appellant(s) Versus
Nikhil Super Speciality Hospital ..Respondent(s) & Another
J U D G M E N T
GANGULY, J.

1. Leave granted.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


"One need not disbelieve the first defendant when he says that on 11.7.1995 when the plaintiff was discharged, her condition had considerably improved. If as a matter of fact what is claimed by the plaintiff and her husband P.W.3 is correct, certainly, it would have been difficult for her to survive for 2 or more days in General Hospital. It is to be noticed that she had in the General Hospital for 11 days. Therefore most of the submissions made by P.Ws.1 and 3 can be taken only with a pinch of salt.
42. May be that the first defendant was slightly indifferent. But that by itself does not lead to the conclusion S.A.832/2000. 45
that he was negligent. As noticed in several decisions, the standard of proof is very high in case of medical negligence. The evidence does not disclose that the treatment adopted by the first defendant in the case of the plaintiff was not an accepted mode of treatment. In fact the evidence is to the contrary. The initial treatment given to P.W.1, which is known as conservative method of treatment is one usually resorted to in all such case. The evidence is clear to the effect that option of surgery is the last resort when the patient does not show any improvement after receiving conservative method of treatment and begins to develop more and more complications. Applying the above test and principle to the facts of the case on hand, it therefore follows that the plaintiff has miserably failed to establish that the first defendant was negligent in any manner.
43. At the time of hearing of the appeal, this court was given to understand that the decree has been executed and the plaintiff has realised the amount decreed by the trial court and as confirmed by the appellate court. S.A.832/2000. 46
Considering the facts and circumstances, it is directed that in case the plaintiff had realized the amount, it shall not be recovered from the plaintiff. But it is held that the courts below were not justified in holding that the first defendant was negligent in the treatment of the plaintiff. In the result, this appeal is allowed, the judgments and decrees of the courts below are set aside and the suit stands dismissed. There will be no order as to costs. P. BHAVADASAN,





Citation:


IN THE HIGH COURT OF KERALA AT ERNAKULAM SA.No. 832 of 2000(G)

1. MONI
... Petitioner
Vs
1. STATE OF KERALA
... Respondent
For Petitioner :SRI.GEORGE THOMAS (MEVADA) For Respondent :GOVERNMENT PLEADER
The Hon'ble MR. Justice P.BHAVADASAN

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The medical practitioners at times also have to be saved from such a class of complainants who use criminal process as a tool for pressurizing the medical professionals/hospitals particularly private hospitals or clinics for extracting uncalled for compensation. Such malicious proceedings deserve to be discarded against the medical practitioners. XI. The medical professionals are entitled to get protection so long as they perform their duties with reasonable skill and competence and in the interest of the patients. The interest and welfare of the 53
patients have to be paramount for the medical professionals.

95. In our considered view, the aforementioned principles must be kept in view while deciding the cases of medical negligence. We should not be understood to have held that doctors can never be prosecuted for medical negligence. As long as the doctors have performed their duties and exercised an ordinary degree of professional skill and competence, they cannot be held guilty of medical negligence. It is imperative that the doctors must be able to perform their professional duties with free mind.

96. When we apply well settled principles enumerated in the preceding paragraphs in dealing with cases of medical negligence, the conclusion becomes irresistible that the appellants have failed to make out any case of medical negligence against the respondents.

97. The National Commission was justified in dismissing the complaint of the appellants. No interference is called for. The appeal being devoid of any merit is dismissed. In view of the 54
peculiar facts and circumstances of this case the parties are directed to bear their own costs.


Citation:


IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO.1385 OF 2001
Kusum Sharma & Others .. Appellants Versus
Batra Hospital & Medical Research Centre & Others .. Respondents JUDGMENT
Dalveer Bhandari, J.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------









5 comments:

  1. My medical malpractice Arizona team likes this so much. Hope to see more posts from you soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your encouragement.

      Delete
  2. I would really like to figure out some basic medical malpractice cases in Valparaiso IN for a paper that i am writing.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great post! I've been trying to learn more about how medical malpractice litigation in Las Cruces works, and this helped a ton. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete