It’s a choice of Doctors to choose one out of two options of Treatment…

Fracture – Whether to be fixed by Plaster or by nails and screws ? Whose choice it is ?

In a comparatively very short Judgment, the National Commission has recently dismissed the Medical Negligence Complaint, by reiterating its earlier views..

Its has been held :
1. Firstly the Complainant lost his case in State Commission, but could not file the Appeal within the statutory period. The National Commission on facts even dismissed the Delay condonation application itself as the reasons mentioned were very causal and not satisfactory !!
2. It further observed that Even on merits, the petitioner – complainant has no case..
3.The Petitioner alleged that the Doctor was negligent as he fixed the fracture leg of the petitioner by nails and screws whereas it was not necessary…
4. Unfortunately for the petitioner, the expert Doctor whom the Petitioner examined as an expert, also opined that it was upto the treating doctor to decide to exercise one of the above two options. Thus, even if the respondent/OP opted to fix the fracture by nails and screws it cannot be termed as ‘medical negligence.

This short judgment emphasises important discretionary right available to Doctors.
It reminds me what Hon. Justice Dalveer Bhandari (as he then was.) observed in the celebrated judgment of Kusum Sharma V/s. Batra Hospital (C.A. No.1385/2001, decided on 10/02/2010)
” Negligence cannot be attributed to a doctor so long as he performs his duties with reasonable skill and competence. Merely because the doctor chooses one course of action in
preference to the other one available, he would not be liable if the course of action chosen by him was acceptable to the medical profession.”….

” It is our bounden duty and obligation of the civil society to ensure that the medical professionals are not unnecessary harassed or humiliated so that they can perform their professional duties without fear and apprehension.”

Adv. Rohit Erande

Pune. ©

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