Medico-Legal Duties of Doctor in Poisoning Cases
Now open: Certificate Course in Management of Covid-19 by Govt. Of Gujarat and PlexusMDKnow more...Now open: Certificate Course in Management of Covid-19 by Govt. Of Gujarat and PlexusMDKnow more...
In the emergency department, attending medical practitioners have to abide by two different responsibilities, medical and medicolegal.

Poisoning, either accidental or intentional forms a significant part of emergency cases. Doctors may perform the medical part of the management but somehow sometimes neglect the legal duties due to ignorance or lake of time in an emergency.

Here are the legal duties of a doctor in poisoning cases:

1. Providing information to the nearest police station

• Attending practitioner should immediately report the case to the nearest police station or magistrate.

• If the incident is not reported, it is a punishable offence and may result in imprisonment of one month or a fine of up to Rs. 1000, or both under section 176 of IPC.

2. Detailed documentation and record maintenance

• Attending doctor should carefully conduct detailed clinical observation at the time of admission as well as note the vital signs and date and time of reporting and prepare a detailed medico-legal case (MLC) report

• If doctor fails to record the MLC report accurately or provides false information, he/she is liable to a punishment of up to 7-years imprisonment under section 193 of IPC.

3. Preservation of samples

• Urine & blood samples of the patient should be collected in two forms (with and without preservatives) and appropriately labelled with the name of the patient, material preserved, date, and time of collection before it is sent for forensic examination.

• Failure to collect and preserve the samples or deliberate mishandling of the sample is considered as an act of destroying the evidence and is punishable by up to 7 years of imprisonment under section 201 of IPC.

4. Medicolegal postmortem in case of death

• In case of death, doctor should inform the police, and dead body should be sent for medico-legal postmortem to confirm the exact cause of death and the details of poisoning.

• The death certificate should be issued only after confirmation from the police officer or magistrate with proper documentation in the hospital MLC register and police register.

5. Importance of the second opinion

• The attending practitioner is suggested to take the second opinion from any senior physician in matters related to the diagnosis and treatment of poisoning cases.

• In case of death, the opinion of attending doctor is taken into account. Hence, the attending doctor is advised to discuss with the autopsy doctor and experienced senior personnel before formulating any opinion.

The above-mentioned tips can help to spread awareness among doctors about medicolegal investigations in poisoning cases and will protect them from false allegations or malpractice charges.

m●●●●●b A●●m and 32 others like this18 shares
Dr. R●●●●●●●●r G●●●●i
Dr. R●●●●●●●●r G●●●●i pediatrics
Very nice information
Aug 25, 2020Like
Dr. S●●●●●●●●●●n K●●●●●●i
Dr. S●●●●●●●●●●n K●●●●●●i Family Medicine
Good information for Medical Officer
Aug 25, 2020Like
Dr. J●i B●●●●i
Dr. J●i B●●●●i Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Awaverness is created.
Aug 30, 2020Like