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Apr27

"VICARIOUS LIABILITY" OR CONSULTANT BEING PUNISHED FOR JUNIOR MISTAKE IN TREATMENT

 

Prof.Dr.Dram,profdrram@gmail.com,Gastro Intestinal,Liver Hiv,Hepatitis and sex diseases expert 7838059592,943414355    www.blogspot.com/drnakipuria     www.bhartiyanews24x7.com    www.bhartiyanews24x7.net







 It is an open practice as in medical colleges or teaching hospitals,patients are admitted under one head senior consultants of an unit under a department but rest of member doctors of team conduct the treatment or procedure or surgery.This tam comprises of man other consultants of same post but not head or some below rank consultants and may senior and junior residents or intern or house staff doctors.

             Now there is a often a biq question arise as who is mainly responsible in law of court if some wrongful done on patient by any other member of team or some false litigations are imposed by patient in consumer,civil or criminal court.

          Doctors have a duty to satisfy themselves that the persons to whom the task is delegated are qualified and/or have the appropriate experience, knowledge and skill to discharge the duties which have been delegated to them.Improper delegation would amount to negligence on ther person under whom patient is admitted But even in case of proper delegation, the senior doctor would be vicariously held liable for the negligence of the junior staff during this delegation.Even other consultant does some mistake,the head cannot be treated isolated if he /she is on duty with the charge even if head is present during procedure or not as head must be consulted and informed of procedure or surgery and assumed to help the concerned if something goes wrong as patient is admitted under head but head written leave or handing over charge to other cosultant spares head.

At the same time, the legal duty of care is owned by all categories of healthcare like doctors, nurses, etc. Thus, the junior doctor owes the same duty of care to his patients as his senior doctor.In case the junior doctor is working independently and is competent for that job the senior doctor may not be held liable e.g. running of an OPD separately by the junior doctor. In such a case, the hospital may still be liable. Thus, the doctor would be negligent only in a case where he delegates the responsibility to his junior with the knowledge that the junior was incapable of performing his duties properly.

                Same if applied in Private hospital if a senior doctor appoints few consultant or junior doctors under him/her to do procedure or surgery or treatment until consultant doing independant treatment admitting patient under him,the head is liable here too.If therapy or surgery is delegated to any staff or nurse not trained or certified to do so the it is a serious negligence may be punished in criminal court.

 

In the matter titled as “Spring Meadows Hospital v. Harjol Ahluwalia, [(1998) 4 SCC 39”, the Hon’ble Supreme Court has held that:“Gross medical mistake will always result in a finding of negligence. Use of wrong drug or wrong gas during the course of anaesthetic will frequently lead to the imposition of liability and in some situations even the principle of Res ipsa loquitur can be applied. Even delegation of responsibility to another may amount to negligence in certain circumstances. A consultant could be negligent where he delegates the responsibility to his junior with the knowledge that the junior was incapable of performing of his duties properly.”



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