M.D. Medicine & area of Practice : Court's point of view.
Adv. ROHiT ERANDE. ©
There are few important judgments which have indirectly spelt out the scope of work of a M.D. Medicine Doctor. Let's see it in nutsehll.
But before we start :
In corona pandemic, Doctors are perfoming Covid duty, irrespective of thier Degree and if they refuse, they might be prosecuted under Epidemic Act..
In this Corona Pandameic, the Government management made it compulsory for almost all the faculty doctors to perform the Covid Duty, barring age bar above 60. In these difficult times even Medical Students were also asked to perform Covid Duty. Thus now can any say that, please get me MD Medicine Doctor only ? The Answer is no. So in my humble opinion, this Aspect should be considered by Courts henceforth.
1. M.D. Medicine fined for calling himself a Cardiologist :
In the instant case, the deceased pregnant lady was diagnosed as valvular disease of the heart and she was treated by the Doctor who was M.D. Medicine . He diagnosed the lady with Mitral Stenosis with Mitral Regurgitation (MS with MR) and started treatment. However due to complications, she was advised for urgent delivery and she delivered the baby, but she could not be saved. It was alleged that the MD Medicine gave her wrong treatment and he ought not to have called himself a s a cardiologist. The Doctor also admitted that he printed on his letterhead as “Consultant Physician and Cardiologist”.
The National Commission held relied upon the land mark judgment of Hon’ble Supreme Court in Jacob Mathew V State of Punjab & Anr, (2005) 6 SSC 1= III (2005) CPJ 9 (SC) where in it had concluded that,
“ a professional may be held liable on one of two findings : either he was not possessed of requisite skill which he professed to have possessed, or, he did not exercise reasonable competence in given case, the skill which he did possess.” It was further observed that it was risky that a doctor who is not qualified and competent to do so which amount to therapeutic misadventure.
The Commission not only directed to pay the petitioners a sum of Rs.6,82,000,, but also saddled punitive cost of Rs.1,00,000/-.
You may see entire blog on following link :
2. "MD Medicine Dr. fined Rs.41 lakh for doing pleural tapping test without Sonography, that too in Causality section :
The case is relates back to 2002 and it was decided in 2017. The deceased - wife -patient, was suffering from hepatitis and was under treatment and was improving. But after a month, she she had Chest pain and difficulty in breathing. Thus she went to the Hospital, where the treating Doctor conducted pleural tapping test in causality ward and he left. But soon she started feeling giddiness . CT scanning also revealed that the needle had punctured the spleen resulting in spleenic tear and profuse bleeding internally and she took her last breath in the next morning.
The Maharashtra State consumer Forum raised the query as to why the Process of injecting a needle or puncturing twice of space below chest for Pleural effusion was done casually in the casualty section of the Hinduja Hospital and not in ICU ? Why Sonography was not performed while passing or inserting the needle? and because of this omission allowed the compliant, but granted Rs.41 lakhs against Rs.87.50 lakhs.
See the link for entire article :
3. "M.D. Medicine Doctor is not negligent when he gives Neurological treatment to a patient in emergency".
The Complainant’s mother was admitted in the Hospital as a case of emergency. After examination of the patient, it was found that there was blood clotting in various places of the brain of the patient. Therefore, treatment was started accordingly by the M.D. Medicine Doctor who was on emergency duty. However 16 days after discharge from the Hospital, the patient expired. Thus it was alleged that the MD Medicine who was not a Neurologist ought to not to have treated the patient and hence sued for Rs.15 lakhs. However the National Commission came to the rescue of Doctor and dismissed the Compliant.
It relied on the land mark judgement of Apex Court in the case of Kusum Sharma & Others V/s Batra Hospital & Medical Research Centre and others, AIR 2010 SC 1050, wherein Hon’ble Supreme Court observed as : " 81. It is a matter of common knowledge that after happening of some unfortunate event, there is a marked tendency to look for a human factor to blame for an untoward event, a tendency which is closely linked with the desire to punish. Things have gone wrong and, therefore, somebody must be found to answer for it. A professional deserves total protection.The Indian Penal Code has taken care to ensure that people who act in good faith should not be punished."
See the following link.
4. Engaging a 40 years experienced MBBS Doctor, but having no PG Degree, costed Rs. 10 lakh +, to a Renowned Hospital in Pune.
In a similar situation, the MBBS Doctor landed in trouble. A MBBS Doctor working as an Anesthetist over the period of 40 years, but having no PG Degree in Anesthesia was regarded as utter disregard to the rules, regulations and the rulings by the Hon’ble Apex Court and was held liable for medical Negligence..The Maharashtra State Commission relied on the judgment of Apex Court in the case of Poonam Verma V/s. Dr.Ashwini Patel reported in  1 BomCR(Cons) 14, “A person who does not have knowledge of a particular system of medicine but practices in that system is a quack and a mere pretender to medical knowledge or skill, or to put it differently, a charlatan." It further observed that
"But we are of the positive opinion that respondent 1, having practiced in Allopathy, without being qualified in that system, was guilty of negligence per se.”
Please See the Link :
I hope this compilation will be helpful to Doctors. The Doctors are likely to get irritated after reading these judgments. Many doctors are sayign that quacks are flourishing, but a Doctors with valid degree are under scanner.
But I feel that there has to be some rules, legal provisions which would decide what a MD Medicine can do and cannot do. These cases are just guidelines. For its applicability, facts of each case will be decisive.
Thanks and Regards
Adv. ROHiT ERANDE.
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