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CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT, 1986 AND MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE

Courtesy/By: Amulya Bhat | 2019-07-09 10:19

The profession of medical is the most highly respected profession in the country. Every doctor is under an obligation to perform his duty to his best and with due diligence, if the doctor carries on his duty negligently, the case can be brought under the purview Consumer Protection Act, 1986.


Under the law of tort, negligence is the breach of duty or omission of doing an act towards a reasonable man or carrying out an act which a reasonable and prudent man would not do. The essentials of negligence are, there was legal duty of care; there was a breach in that legal duty, the consequences of such breach were damages. According to the English law, a doctor is not guilty of negligence if he acted in accordance with the practice and rules that is accepted as the proper and established standard and accepted by the men in that standard.


The consumer protection act, 1986 opened a new door for the redressal of the consumer services and goods. Section 2(1) (d) and section 2(1)(o) define consumer and service, respectively. Hence, even if there is no specific provision for health care, it can be interpreted in these provisions. The Supreme Court in the case Indian Medical Association vs. Shantha [1995 (6) SCC 651], was the first case related to health care services which was included in


the purview of Consumer Protection act, 1986. In this case, it was held that;
1) Medical services are treated come under the purview of “services” under section 2(1) (o) of the consumer protection act, 1986.
2) Medical services which are given free of cost do not come under the purview of “services” under section 2(1) (o) of the consumer protection act, 1986.
3) Medical services provided against a consideration such as payment comes under the purview of the act
4) Hospitals which render services free of charge to some and charge some come under the ambit of this cat.


The concept of medical negligence has been fixed deeply in the tort law. The consumer protection provides an immediate remedy to cases related to medical negligence. Usually there is no fee charged for any case filed in the consumer court and hence any person, even with financial difficulties can raise a claim for compensation where they have been provided with deficient medical services.

Courtesy/By: Amulya Bhat | 2019-07-09 10:19