Medical practitioner is not to be held liable simply because things went wrong from mischance. The demise of husband of Appellant No. 1 after his long illness on 3rd February, 1996 has resulted in initiation of the legal proceedings at the instance of Appellant No. 1 along with her children on a bona fide belief that the cause of death of her late husband was post- operative medical negligence and follow-up care. National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission held that it was not a case of post-operative medical negligence as being alleged by the Appellants and dismissed the complaint by the judgment impugned which is the subject matter of appeal filed at the instance of the Appellants under Section 23 of Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
It was held by the Hon’ble Supreme Court that a medical practitioner is not to be held liable simply because things went wrong from mischance or misadventure or through an error of judgment in choosing one reasonable course of treatment in preference to another. In the practice of medicine, there could be varying approaches of treatment. There could be a genuine difference of opinion. However, while adopting a course of treatment, the duty cast upon the medical practitioner is that he must ensure that the medical protocol being followed by him is to the best of his skill and with competence at his command.
At the given time, medical practitioner would be liable only where his conduct fell below that of the standards of a reasonably competent practitioner in his field and hence the appeal was dismissed.