How to avoid Medical Litigation ?

The factors which should be considered with utmost attention while managing a patient are consent, an elaborate case history recording, well-understood drug prescription policy & knowledge of emergency situation handling. Apart from being mindful of the legal ramifications in case of non-conformity to the standards & procedures of law, a doctor should also be attentive enough to stay safe from accountabilities arise due to involuntary negligence or fraudulent litigations with malevolent intentions.

There has been increased incidence of patients challenging the doctor’s authority over treatment planning and consent issues. Thus while providing the health care services a doctor should follow definite set of criteria in preserving records of almost all the activities related with management of patient. Omission in exercising such practice could invite trouble & litigation in the name of malpractice.

Four reasons for rise in medical litigation in India were filtered out in a recent in-house survey carried out by National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bengaluru. These are 1) greater consumer awareness 2) flexible consumer forums 3) cost involved in medical services and 4) litigant mindset among the populace in general.

An associate professor NLSIU said there is a constant rise in cases of medical litigation in the country. Consumers are becoming more aware of their rights, duties and responsibilities and are ready to battle out any insufficiency in service delivery mechanisms. The pliability provided by consumer forums to file a complaint before consumer courts unlike moving to a regular civil court for filing a case has aided this trend, he said.

As per Advocate Saurav goyal of supreme laws where as much advances has been achieved in legitimizing the professional practice, the concept of monetary claims in case of malpractice under the court of law has also gained much of the public awareness. Thanks to legislation drafted to safeguard the public from un-qualified practitioners and unfortunately to the great new interest in the miracles of Medicine, which has let to expectations for an unrealistic performance from their physicians.

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