Dr Rajiv Desai

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MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE AND CONSUMER PROTECTION

MEDICAL PROFESSION VERSUS CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT:(DOCTOR V/S CPA):
As a qualified doctor of 20 years experience,I am a better person to comment on this controversial issue.At the outset,I want to say that I deplore CPA and condemn criminal charge of negligence against a doctor.
1)The relationship between a doctor and a patient is a matter of faith and trust and CPA destroys this pious relationship.
2)There was a time when a doctor was considred next to the God because of his ability to relieve human suffering and this respect is destroyed by the notion of a doctor being looked upon as a grocery shop owner who gives treatment in return for money;thanks to CPA.
3)A human body has millions of biological variables and it is impossible for a humanbeing to know,how and why,all these biological variables will interact to produce a disease.
4)The Hippocratic Oath has become irrelevant in 21 century and is not the issue anymore.
5}A doctor is also a humanbeing and can make a bonafide mistake and there is a difference between a mistake and a negligence.The people are not aware of this fact.If a court-judge makes a mistake,you can go to supreme court to rectify the mistake but the judge is spared of CPA.If an airline pilot or an engine driver of railways is negligent,hundreds of people die but nobody talks of CPA.
6)Most of the cases under CPA are false and frivolous cases filed with the intention to blackmail the doctor to extract the money.
7)A doctor has a personal life and can be under severe mental stress due to family problems and therefore may not perform in optimal ways.
8)It is very difficult to become a doctor by merit.He has to be best in studies since school days and then,many years of teaching in medical college and then,many years of experience in a hospital and then,he can practice.It is easy to become an actor or sportsman or a journalist.However,nobody thinks of CPA against them after watching a bad movie or bad game or bogus news.
9)It is wrong on the part of people to expect a doctor to be available 24 hours.No special favour is given to a doctor by the society.For example;If I have very urgent work at midnight and my car has no petrol,the petrol pump will not open specially for me;but,if the petrol pump owner falls sick at midnight,he will knock at my doors.This is unfair.If you want the service of a doctor at any time,then,the society must reciprocate.
10)There should never be a criminal liability against any doctor for negligence because it is not the intention of a doctor to harm the patient.
11)There are millions of QUACKS in the world and nobody is bothered about them.In India,there are thousands of homeopathic and ayurvedic doctors who practice allopathic medicine and therefore are quacks and must face criminal charge but they are spared.This is a double-standard.
12)There are good doctors and bad doctors: and it is also true that there are good patients and bad patients.
A bad patient is defined as a patient who lies to the doctor,misrepresent facts,thinks that he/she is smarter than a doctor,try to test the knowledge of a doctor and unwilling to pay the dues.
13)Media must show restraint about a qualified doctor making a mistake.Media must show both the sides of a story.Media must concentrate on quacks to expose them before people.
14)A doctor is a worst enemy of a rival doctor.Most of the CPA cases are instigated by a rival doctor who misleads the unsatisfied patient.People must know this fact.
15)In India,if any hospital gives free treatment to all the patients,then,it is spared of CPA.That means,If any doctor gives free treatment to all the patients,he can get away with wrong treatment.How stupid is it?
Dr.Rajiv Desai.MD.

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