Medical Negligence – Doctrine of Due Care – Oral and Documentary Evidence
The Hon’ble Supreme Court decided a Civil Appeal challenging the decision of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission [NCDRC], involving a case of medical negligence causing the death of a patient. The Apex Court considered that whether the Complainant had established professional negligence on the part of the Respondents as per the standards governing the ‘duty to care’ of a medical practitioner.
The Apex Court observed that in proceedings for damages due to professional negligence, the question of intention does not arise. The Apex Court referred to the findings of the MCI on the conduct of the Respondent and opined that the NCDRC had applied the general principles of law as laid down in the judgments of this Court but has not attempted to draw its conclusion from the oral and documentary evidence available on record. The Apex Court found that NCDRC had committed an error in setting aside the findings of the SCDRC, and held that the complainants have made out a case of medical negligence against Respondents 1 and 2 and are entitled to seek compensation on the ground of deficiency of service and directed to pay 25, 00,000/- with an interest of 6% per annum from the date of SCDRC order. The Apex Court allowed the appeal and set aside the Judgment of the NCDRC.