Medical and Professional Negligence :

Medical Negligence
Medical negligence is a combination of two words. The
second word solely describes the meaning, though the
meaning of negligence has not been described in a
proper way it is an act recklessly done by a person
resulting in foreseeable damages to the other.
The fundamental reason behind medical error or medical
negligence is the carelessness of the said doctors or
medical professionals it can be observed in various
cases where reasonable care is not taken during the
diagnosis, during operations, sometimes while injecting anasthesia etc.

• For example, after a severe operation of a patient, he is
likely to get infected by many diseases because of certain
reason which can include loss of blood, weakness, high
dose of medicines. In due course, standard care is
expected from the doctor to give premedication regarding
certain infectious diseases. If a doctor fails to do so due
to which a patient suffers from some infection which can
cause a lot of harm or even death in adverse cases, the
doctor is said to have committed medical negligence or malpractice


  1. Doctor’s duty to attend the patient with care
  2. A doctor or a medical practitioner when attends to his
    patients owes him the following duties of care.
  3. Doctors acting in a negligent manner

Doctor’s duty to attend the patient with care – Medicine is such a
profession where a practitioner is supposed to have requisite knowledge and skill needed
for the purpose and has a duty to exercise a reasonable duty of care while dealing with the
patient. The standard of care depends upon the nature of the profession. A surgeon or
anaesthetist will be determined by the standard of an average practitioner in that field while
in case a higher skill is needed.
If the doctor or a specialist doesn’t attend a patient admitted in an emergency or under his
surveillance and the patient dies or becomes a victim of consequences which could have
been avoided with due care from the doctor, the doctor can be held liable under medical
negligence. This was held in Sishir Rajan Saha v. The state of Tripura, that if a doctor did not
pay enough attention to the patients in government hospitals as a result of which the
patient suffers, the doctor can be held liable to pay compensation to the patient.

A doctor or a medical practitioner when attends to his patients owes him the
following duties of care:
A duty of care in deciding whether to undertake the case
A duty of care in deciding what treatment to give
A duty of care in the administration of the treatment
When you go to a doctor, you expect to be seen promptly and attentively, and at
a reasonable cost. You expect the doctor to be knowledgeable about the latest
advances in his field of specialty, and educate you about your diagnosis and
prognosis, and explore the best possible solution to your health issue. In short,
you expect to be healed. But for millions of people, what they expect is far from what the receive

Doctors acting in a negligent manner- It is well accepted
that in the cases of gross medical negligence the
principle of res ipsa loquitur is to be applied. The
principle of res ipso loquitur is said to be essentially an
evidential principle and the said principle is intended to
assist the claimant.
In Gian Chand v. Vinod Kumar Sharma, it was held that
shifting of the patient from one ward to another in spite of
requirement of instant treatment to be given to the patient
resulting in damage to the patient’s health then the doctor
or administrator of the hospital shall be held liable fo negligence

Professional Negligence
Professionals are persons professing some special skill
or job, who are trained to profess in that area especially
and bear the responsibility of professing with due care.
Such professionals include lawyers, doctors, architects
The Supreme Court in Jacob Mathew vs. State of Punjab,
explained: a professional entering into a certain
profession is deemed to have knowledge regarding that
profession and it is assured impliedly by him that a
reasonable amount of care shall be taken to profess his
profession. The person can be held liable for negligence . professional cannot be held liable for not succeeding in
his work if he does his work with reasonable care. A
professional can be held liable only when he does not
exercise his work with requisite skills and reasonable
Whether the person is negligent or not is judged in two
ways: either he did not posses requisite skills which he
professed to posses or he did not use his requisite skills with resonable care.

Aishwarya Says:

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