Medical negligence: Coverage of the profession, duties, ethics, case law, and enlightened defense - A legal perspective

Indian J Urol. 2009 Jul;25(3):372-8. doi: 10.4103/0970-1591.56206.

Abstract

A patient approaching a doctor expects medical treatment with all the knowledge and skill that the doctor possesses to bring relief to his medical problem. The relationship takes the shape of a contract retaining the essential elements of tort. A doctor owes certain duties to his patient and a breach of any of these duties gives a cause of action for negligence against the doctor. The doctor has a duty to obtain prior informed consent from the patient before carrying out diagnostic tests and therapeutic management. The services of the doctors are covered under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 and a patient can seek redressal of grievances from the Consumer Courts. Case laws are an important source of law in adjudicating various issues of negligence arising out of medical treatment.