Medical Negligence

What is medical negligence?

The term medical negligence is often known as medical malpractice. It is defined as the improper or negligent treatment of a patient by the healthcare professional that differ from the standards set for practice that results in the injury or death of the patient. Healthcare professionals include physicians, nurses, surgeons, dentists, pharmacists, or any other healthcare worker.

What comes under medical negligence?

Following malpractices come under the term medical negligence:

Apart from these malpractices, one of the significant medical negligence that patients face at the hands of hospitals and doctors is not properly informing or hiding potential risks of surgery to achieve commercial motives.

Where to make complaints?

Every citizen or a member of his family has experienced medical negligence at any level, whether small or significant, is obligated to write and submit a complaint to the Disciplinary Committee of Pakistan Medical and Dental Council. This disciplinary committee is empowered under the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council regulations 2002.

The committee reviews and investigates the complaints and cases, and it has the authority to cancel a doctor’s license if he or she is proven guilty. The committee also has the power to take legal actions against the hospital, and its staff involved in medical negligence.

Law of medical negligence in Pakistan

The law of medical negligence in Pakistan states that a doctor is solely responsible as a part of his or her duty to take care of the patient and make sure that he or she is aware of the risks of the injury and treatment. It is also upon the doctor to take care of the patient and avoid procedures and actions that can increase the patient’s risk of injury.

Under Section 318 of Pakistan Penal Code 1860, If a doctor or medical practitioner has unintentionally harmed the patient or is involved in a practice that has led to the death of the patient, he or she has committed “Qatl-i-Khata.

Under the Section 304-A PPC 1860, if the negligence of a doctor or medical practitioner has resulted in the death of a patient, it is considered as a homicide. The doctor is subjected to imprisonment of 2 years as a punishment of his acts or fine or both.

Fatal Accidents Act 1855

Under the fatal accidents act 1855, the victim of medical negligence has the right to file a lawsuit against the medical practitioner or hospital in the Civil court. The lawsuit is for recovery as compensation and damages resulted from medical negligence.

How to report a case of medical negligence?

Law of medical negligence in Pakistan gives the victim of medical negligence and his family the right to lodge an F.I.R under Section 318 and 304-A PPC1860 against the administration of the hospital and the doctor or medical practitioner who is involved in the case of medical negligence.

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