Can hospital stop a dead person’s body for non payment of dues?

Now, it’s a high time or the need of a comprehensive legislation which deals with the issues of malpractice is adopted by the hospitals. Wrongfully confining a person or a dead body of a person in a hospital without lawful justification will amount to wrongful confinement which is stated under section 340 of IPC. The initial burden of proof will be on the patient move that he was wrongfully confined in the hospital and once it is proved then the burden of proof shift on the hospital that whether on what lawful grounds they had detained the patient.

Article 21 of the Indian constitution guarantees people the right to personal Liberty and prohibits any kind of inhuman treatment and despite of the fundamental rights enshrined in the constitution of India, it is not uncommon for hospitals to detain a person’s dead body on account of unpaid bills or holding a dead body of a deceased.

The law doesn’t say much on this issue. In 2018 Union Health Ministry came out with the charter of patient’s rights prepared by the National Human Rights Commission laying down the basic rights of a patient. Draft rules issued by Maharashtra government last year that seek to amend the state nursing home registration rules said patients cannot be detained for non payment of hospital bills under no circumstances a dead body be withheld for non payment of a hospital bill or any other reason.

According to the draft of patient charter, Hospitals cannot detain a patient in a hospital and not allow him or her To take discharge over procedural grounds such as irregularity in payment of hospital charges.The charter states that the hospitals are bound to not wrongfully confined any patient or is dead body in hospital.

 the  draft of charter prepared byNational Human Rights Commission is available on the website of health ministry which also invites suggestions and comments from the public and stakeholders.The draft says that the patients and their caregivers have the right to fair redressal of their grievances and receive in a written complaint within 15 days from the date of the receipt of the complaint patients also have the right to seek redressal in case there are aggrieved, on the account if there is infringement of their rights which are mentioned in the charter. The draft also says thatpatients and their families have the right to receive original or a copy of the case papers, indoor patient records, investigation reports during a period admission preferably within 24 hours and after discharge within 72 hours.

Despite the fundamental rights enshrined in the constitution of India, It isn’t uncommon for the hospitals to detain a person on the account of unpaid bills or holding a dead body of a diseased. Such a practise is not only illegal but also inhuman for the person detained as well as for the acquaintance of such person. Balance needs to be attained between the patients who are unable to pay bill or who have been inadequately charged by the hospital would receive thread from patients and even go to the extent of vandalising the hospital and assaulting the doctors working there.

The draft provides protection against hospitals malpractices by granting certain rights to the patients which states that, “A patient has the right to be discharged and cannot be detained in a hospital, on procedural grounds such as a dispute in payment of hospital charges. Similarly, caretakers have the right to the dead body of a patient who had been treated in a hospital, and the dead body cannot be detailed on procedural grounds, including non-payment/dispute regarding payment of hospital charges against wishes of the caretakers”.

Other fundamental rights which are enshrined under the draught charter includes right to provide adequate and relevant information about illness and the treatment, write to emergency medical care without any conditions, right to informed consent before any test or treatment, right to confidentiality and also human dignity and privacy. There is an urgent need for the comprehensive law which directly deals with the issue of malpractice is adopted by the hospitals. At the same time, there should be a balance between the rights of doctors and hospitals by devising a mechanism for recovery of their legal dues.

It has been recognised by the courts to fill up the voids in respect of certain areas in the interest of justice .Any larger public interest. unless and until a proper law comes into force, the courts in India should step up to the occasion and lay down proper guidelines it should be followed by the hospitals while dealing with patients and in order to reduce the being off suffering patients and their family members.

However, these rules and guidelines are still drafts and unless they are made into a law backed by sanctions against non compliance getting hospitals to fall in line would be difficult. Various courts have ruled time and again that hospitals cannot hold patients hostage for unpaid bills. However, these judgment are on case to case basis with courts refusing to pass general directions.

Can hospital stop a dead person’s body for non payment of dues?

Now, it’s a high time or the need of a comprehensive legislation which deals with the issues of malpractice is adopted by the hospitals. Wrongfully confining a person or a dead body of a person in a hospital without lawful justification will amount to wrongful confinement which is stated under section 340 of IPC. The initial burden of proof will be on the patient move that he was wrongfully confined in the hospital and once it is proved then the burden of proof shift on the hospital that whether on what lawful grounds they had detained the patient.

Article 21 of the Indian constitution guarantees people the right to personal Liberty and prohibits any kind of inhuman treatment and despite of the fundamental rights enshrined in the constitution of India, it is not uncommon for hospitals to detain a person’s dead body on account of unpaid bills or holding a dead body of a deceased.

The law doesn’t say much on this issue. In 2018 Union Health Ministry came out with the charter of patient’s rights prepared by the National Human Rights Commission laying down the basic rights of a patient. Draft rules issued by Maharashtra government last year that seek to amend the state nursing home registration rules said patients cannot be detained for non payment of hospital bills under no circumstances a dead body be withheld for non payment of a hospital bill or any other reason.

According to the draft of patient charter, Hospitals cannot detain a patient in a hospital and not allow him or her To take discharge over procedural grounds such as irregularity in payment of hospital charges.The charter states that the hospitals are bound to not wrongfully confined any patient or is dead body in hospital.

 the  draft of charter prepared byNational Human Rights Commission is available on the website of health ministry which also invites suggestions and comments from the public and stakeholders.The draft says that the patients and their caregivers have the right to fair redressal of their grievances and receive in a written complaint within 15 days from the date of the receipt of the complaint patients also have the right to seek redressal in case there are aggrieved, on the account if there is infringement of their rights which are mentioned in the charter. The draft also says thatpatients and their families have the right to receive original or a copy of the case papers, indoor patient records, investigation reports during a period admission preferably within 24 hours and after discharge within 72 hours.

Despite the fundamental rights enshrined in the constitution of India, It isn’t uncommon for the hospitals to detain a person on the account of unpaid bills or holding a dead body of a diseased. Such a practise is not only illegal but also inhuman for the person detained as well as for the acquaintance of such person. Balance needs to be attained between the patients who are unable to pay bill or who have been inadequately charged by the hospital would receive thread from patients and even go to the extent of vandalising the hospital and assaulting the doctors working there.

The draft provides protection against hospitals malpractices by granting certain rights to the patients which states that, “A patient has the right to be discharged and cannot be detained in a hospital, on procedural grounds such as a dispute in payment of hospital charges. Similarly, caretakers have the right to the dead body of a patient who had been treated in a hospital, and the dead body cannot be detailed on procedural grounds, including non-payment/dispute regarding payment of hospital charges against wishes of the caretakers”.

Other fundamental rights which are enshrined under the draught charter includes right to provide adequate and relevant information about illness and the treatment, write to emergency medical care without any conditions, right to informed consent before any test or treatment, right to confidentiality and also human dignity and privacy. There is an urgent need for the comprehensive law which directly deals with the issue of malpractice is adopted by the hospitals. At the same time, there should be a balance between the rights of doctors and hospitals by devising a mechanism for recovery of their legal dues.

It has been recognised by the courts to fill up the voids in respect of certain areas in the interest of justice .Any larger public interest. unless and until a proper law comes into force, the courts in India should step up to the occasion and lay down proper guidelines it should be followed by the hospitals while dealing with patients and in order to reduce the being off suffering patients and their family members.

However, these rules and guidelines are still drafts and unless they are made into a law backed by sanctions against non compliance getting hospitals to fall in line would be difficult. Various courts have ruled time and again that hospitals cannot hold patients hostage for unpaid bills. However, these judgment are on case to case basis with courts refusing to pass general directions.

However, these rules and guidelines are still drafts and unless they are made into a law backed by sanctions against non compliance getting hospitals to fall in line would be difficult. Various courts have ruled time and again that hospitals cannot hold patients hostage for unpaid bills. However, these judgment are on case to case basis with courts refusing to pass general directions.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

Do follow me on FacebookTwitter  Youtube and Instagram.

The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at adv.aishwaryasandeep@gmail.com

We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

You may also like to read:

Importance of Sports – Aishwarya Sandeep

INDIAN VILLAGE SCHOOL TEACHER WINS $1 MILLION GLOBAL PRIZE – AND GIVES HALF TO THE RUNNERS-UP – Aishwarya Sandeep

The horrendous practice of mob lynching – Aishwarya Sandeep

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