#LegallySpeaking: Medico-Legal Tip
1) Prescribe drugs with generic names in legible handwriting preferably capital letters
2) Prepare the medico legal reports, in readable form.
This "World Handwriting Day" PlexusMD Medicolegal Desk has taken an initiative to create awareness among the doctors regarding the medicolegal aspect related to handwriting.
The Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations, 2002 said in clause 1.5 that
"Use of Generic names of drugs: Every physician should, as far as possible, prescribe drugs with generic names and he/she shall ensure that there is a rational prescription and use
The above Clause – 1.5 is substituted in terms of Notification published in the Gazette of India on 08.10.2016 as under.
“Every physician should prescribe drugs with generic names legibly and preferably in capital letters and he/she shall ensure that there is a rational prescription and use of drugs”
In 2018, Lucknow bench of Allahabad high court had imposed Rs 5,000 penalty each on three doctors in separate cases for their illegible handwriting. In the three criminal cases that came up for hearing last week, the injury report of the victims issued by hospitals from Sitapur, Unnao and Gonda district hospitals were not readable because of poor handwriting of the doctors who had issued them.
“The medico legal report, if given clearly, can either endorse the incident as given by the eyewitnesses or can disprove the incident to a great extent. This is possible only if a detailed and clear medico legal report is furnished by the doctors, with complete responsibility,” the bench observed.
It added, “The medical reports, however, are written in such shabby handwriting that they are not readable and decipherable by advocates or judges. It is to be considered that the medico legal reports and postmortem reports are prepared to assist the persons involved in dispensation of criminal justice. If such a report is readable by medical practitioners only, it shall not serve the purpose for which it is made.”
The court reminded the doctors of a circular issued by UP director general medical and health in November 2012 which stipulated doctors to prepare the medico legal reports in readable form.
Source: The Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations, 2002