#LegallySpeaking: Medico-Legal Tip
Tip: "No person other than a doctor having qualification recognized & registered under MCI/ State MCI allowed to practice Modern System of Medicine or Surgery"
In the case of 2011, Gupta Hospital & Research Centre Pvt. Ltd., Jodhpur, V/s. Karan Singh, the National Commission was dealing with the question - Can an M.D. Medicine Doctor practice as a Cardiologist?
And the answer was - “No person other than a doctor having qualification recognized by Medical Council of India and registered with Medical Council of India/State Medical Council(s) is allowed to practice the modern system of medicine or surgery. A person obtaining a qualification in any other system of medicine is not allowed to practice the modern system of medicine in any form."
Note: Names have been changed to maintain confidentiality
Facts of the case below--
Karan Singh's deceased wife was diagnosed as Valvular Disease of the Heart and was further directed to take treatment of a Cardiologist. Dr. Gupta, who claimed himself a Cardiologist, conducted tests pertaining to heart problems on the patient and diagnosed her as Mitral Stenosis with Mitral Regurgitation (MS with MR) and started treatment. In the meantime of her treatment, she became pregnant. As there was no improvement in her health, she was further referred to another Cardiologist, who advised urgent hospitalization and further undergo a delivery operation at the earliest, as it was her 8th month of pregnancy. She delivered a baby boy, but her condition deteriorated and she was shifted to ICU, she was declared dead in next morning, but no relative was allowed to see her.
Dr. Gupta never denied the fact that “Consultant Physician and Cardiologist” has been printed on his prescription. Nevertheless, he gave the best possible treatment to the deceased. Gynecologists and Anesthesiologist also claimed that they performed their duties well.
1. The National Commission relied upon the observations of The State Commission which after perusing entire record and evidence rejected the appeal of the petitioners and observed that Dr. Gupta was not a Cardiologists and it was the duty of Gupta Hospital to make available Cardiologist at the time of operation of a patient suffering with such serious ailment. After the delivery option, not allowing relatives to go inside and meet also create doubts.
2. As per IMC Regulations, 2002 Clause B Sub-clause 1.1.3. “No person other than a doctor having qualification recognized by Medical Council of India and registered with Medical Council of India/State Medical Council(s) is allowed to practice the modern system of medicine or surgery." Even otherwise, undergoing several trainings, attending workshops in Cardiology did not confer a qualification of the cardiologist. Hence it is not recognized by MCI or Rajasthan State Medical Council.
3. The Commission further relied upon the landmark judgment of Hon’ble Supreme Court concluded that “a professional may be held liable on one of two findings: either he was not possessed of the requisite skill which he professed to have possessed, or, he did not exercise reasonable competence in a given case, the skill which he did possess.” It was risky that a doctor who is not qualified and competent to do so which amounts to therapeutic misadventure.
4. Thus the Commission not only directed to pay the petitioners a sum of Rs.6,82,000 but also saddled punitive cost of Rs.1,00,000/.
Note: The objective of the #LegallySpeaking initiative is to spread awareness about the medicolegal implications of commonly encountered scenarios in a clinician's daily practice.
Source: R.P. No.4023/2011