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HomeLegal NewsGujarat High Court : Patient consent does not cover doctors’ negligence

Gujarat High Court : Patient consent does not cover doctors’ negligence

Ahmedabad : The Gujarat High Court while upholding the criminal prosecution against two orthopedic surgeons filed by IPS Officer Satish Verma observed that the patient’s consent cannot be stretched to cover the doctors negligent and reckless act. The court observation was with regards to the doctor’s lawyer repeated defense that Verma had signed the consent. The court said that the consent was for the operation where doctors were supposed to exercise the requisite skills and knowledge possessed by them while performing surgery. “Had the implant failed the case would not have fallen in the ambit of medical negligence but the scope of consent for operation could not be and ought not to be permitted to be enlarged to cover even negligent and acts on the part of the doctors.” The court said.

The fact of the case are that Satish Verma had suffered a hip fracture and surgery was performed by two orthopedic surgeons Dr. Jyotindra Pandit and Dr. Rikin Shah. After operation, Verma developed a lurching gait which caused poor balance while walking. Verma opted for second opinion only to find out that the surgery was not done as per the standard medical practice and a second surgery was required.

Verma filed a criminal complaint with the local magistrate and demanded criminal prosecution of the two orthopedic surgeons for causing grievous hurt by rash and negligent acts that endanger life. The magistrate court ordered prosecution of the two orthopedic surgeons which was challenged in the Gujarat High Court.