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Monday, March 12, 2012

Doctors not to be arrested for Medical Negligence

Judgment of Jacob Mathew case Appeal (CRI) 144-145 of 2004 which clearly states as follows

"A private complaint may not be entertained unless the complainant has produced prima facie evidence before the Court in the form of a credible opinion given by another competent doctor to support the charge of rashness or negligence on the part of the accused doctor. The investigating officer should, before proceeding against the doctor accused of rash or negligent act or omission, obtain an independent and competent medical opinion preferably from a doctor in government service qualified in that branch of medical practice who can normally be expected to give an impartial and unbiased opinion applying Bolam’s test to the facts collected in the investigation. A doctor accused of rashness or negligence, may not be arrested in a routine manner (simply because a charge has been levelled against him). Unless his arrest is necessary for furthering the investigation or for collecting evidence or unless the investigation officer feels satisfied that the doctor proceeded against would not make himself available to face the prosecution unless arrested, the arrest may be withheld".

Tamil Nadu IMA has approached the Tamil Nadu Government and got a GO NO.220 of 2008 Dated 4.7.2008 to implement the same Judgment in our State. It is high time IMA Head Quarters should get such an order from Central Government and also the respective state branches should approach and get a similar GO no.220 of 2008 like Tamil Nadu.

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