National Medical Commission (NMC) Frames New Guidelines For “Criminal Negligence” And Arrest Of Negligent Doctors After 16 Years In Response To PBT’s Letter Threatening To Bring “Contempt” Case

Ethics section of National Medical Commission (NMC), highest medical regulatory authority in India, sent a letter this week to the Ministry of Health and PBT recommending new guidelines for arrest of a doctor under Indian Penal Code (IPC) section 304A (“criminal negligence”). The Apex Court passed a historic judgment in 2005 in Jacob Mathews v. State of Punjab holding that a doctor may be arrested and charged for “criminal negligence” causing death of patient following Bolam’s law but only after the police and investigating agency obtain certificate from doctors in governing hospital supporting the case for negligence. However, Apex Court expressed this opinion only as a temporary measure until NMC (then MCI) is able to frame specific guidelines for “criminal negligence”. Unfortunately, while Jacob Mathews (Supra.) judgment was related only to “criminal negligence”, this judgment has been grossly and widely misused and abused as civil courts and consumer courts across India have been regularly dismissing cases of “medical negligence” citing Jacob Mathews judgment that has absolutely no application in tort cases for medical negligence.

PBT was also a party in the (in)famous Jacob Mathews (Supra.) case in 2005s and earlier this year, PBT sent a legal notice to NMC demanding framing of specific guidelines for criminal negligence and arrest of a doctor in accordance to the Apex Court’s order 16 years ago. PBT also said that unless NMC frames the guidelines for criminal negligence to charge a doctor under IPC 304A, a “contempt of Supreme Court” case would be brought against the NMC. In response, NMC has now recommended guidelines for “criminal negligence” by an errant doctor. While some of these recommendations may have useful purpose, such as that a District or State Medical Board must investigate when a case of alleged “criminal negligence” is referred to them based on which charges under iPC Section 304A may be brought against a doctor, the guidelines are still grossly non-transparent (as no specific about how the members of Medical Board would be chosen) and no indication whether any non-medical person would be part of the State or District Medical Board. The letter from NMC including the full recommended guidelines is attached below.

NMC Letter for Criminal Negligence (Oct, 2021)

Comments

  1. Pranab Banerjee.

    Most restpectfully,
    I have admitted my sister age70years with mild chest pain on 16th April 2021 at MA SARADA HOSPITAL PVT. LTD. 160,G.T.ROAD.KONNAGAR,HOOGHLY.(03326745578).They have released (discharge) on26/04/2021 with unconsus condition and talking irrivalanty.
    We found after reaching home that the Hugges pasted with very strongly. A local Compounder helped us for detachment from skin. A large volume of bleeding from rectum. She was usable to talk any thing.
    A local doctor is engaged for her treatment.
    My sister(SNIGDHA CHATTERJEE) has expired on 08/5/2021 at 9.30pm.
    Body was not postmortem.
    However I stared to Share my experience in Social Media.
    Mr. Chayan Banik (P.A) Dr. Sovan Chatterjeer & the Manager of the Hospital came to my residence 27.9,28.9and 29.9.2021 and thred me for deleting my comments in FACE BOOK and Google’s review Coloum.
    On 30.9.2021 night at 9.30-10 pm 10,12 people assemble in front of my house. They have came with IRON ROD, BRICK’s pieces. They were started to beating the Rod in our Doors,Windoes etc. and shouting addressing my name for going out from House.
    Local people assembled and protested,while my daughter went out from house for Video Recording, they fleed.
    I solemnly declaring that above information is true and best of knowledge. Further. I confirmed that Chayan Banik leader of the gang had done such unethical work as per instruction of Dr. Sovon Chatterjee.

  2. Joydeep Banerjee

    Dr.these doctors must be punished brutally..As they don’t have any confirm knowledge of Proper Medical Science

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