SUPREME COURT OF INDIA HELD THAT PATIENT CENTRIC APPROACH MUST BE TAKEN BY THE MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS

1531894310Medical_negligence

The Supreme Court of India in the case of Arun Kumar Manglik vs Chirayu Health and Medicare Private Ltd. & Anr., passed a judgement dated 09.01.2019 holding that the while treating a patient medical professionals should adopt a patient-centric approach. The Apex Court found the hospital negligent and granted compensation to the Appellant.

In the above case Late Mrs. Madhu Manglik upon showing the symptoms of dengue fever was admitted to Chirayu Health & Medicare Hospital (Respondent Hospital) at about 7 AM on 15.11.2009. The Patient was checked at intervals, given medicines, diagnosed and blood reports were also taken periodically. The patient while in the hospital had a second cardiac arrest at 08:00 PM and was declared dead by the Respondent hospital at 08:50 PM.

The Appellant field a medical negligence Complaint before the Medical Council of India (MCI). The Ethics Committee (EC) of the MCI on 20.02.2015 came to a conclusion that the treating doctors had administered the treatment to the patient in accordance with the established medical guidelines, however the treatment was not provided in a timely manner.

The Appellant filed a Complaint before the State Commission Disputes Redressal Commission (SCDRC) seeking a compensation of Rs. 48 Lakhs on the ground that his spouse suffered an untimely death due to the medical negligence of the treating doctors of the Respondent hospital. The SCDRC gave a judgement on 27.04.2015, that a case of medical negligence was established and directed the Respondents to pay a compensation of Rs. 6 lakhs with the interest at the rate of 9 per cent per annum to the Appellant. The National Commission Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) reversed the findings and dismissed the Judgement of SCDRC.

The Supreme Court of India held that considering the cases of Bolam vs Friern Hospital Management Committee (1957) 1 WLR 582 and Jacob Mathew vs State of Punjab (2005) 6 SCC 1 held that a medical practitioner must take a reasonable degree of care, and such care must be in accordance with utmost responsibility and reasonability. Further the Apex Court held that the Respondent hospital treated the patient according to the standard medical guidelines but failed to provide timely treatment. Hence the Respondent failed to satisfy the standard of reasonable care as laid down in the Bolam Case.

The Apex Court setting aside the Judgement of NCDRC held the Respondent hospital liable to pay a compensation of Rs. 15 Lakhs. However the Court was of the view that the Director of the Respondent hospital is not personally liable as he was neither the treating doctor nor an advising doctor.

Suchit Patel

Associate

The Indian Lawyer

 

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