4th National Convention on Medicine & Law 2019 to take place at Chennai
CHENNAI,OCT 2019: Institute of Medicine & Law (IML) will organize the 4th National Convention on Medicine & Law (NCML) 2019 on Sunday, 20th October at Chennai. The previous editions of the convention were held in Mumbai & Delhi. This convention will be attended by the doctors, policy makers, and legal experts from across India and chaired by Justice (Dr.) B C Gupta.
The Convener of this edition, Dr. T N Ravisankar informed “The convention will try to address the concerns of the medical fraternity on some pressing legal issues affecting Healthcare Practitioners. Some of these include setting up of a Medical Tribunal to avoid doctors and hospitals being sued in multiple forums simultaneously, relooking at the draconian Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, and abrogating the Sensitivity Tests for Antibiotics, which is medically obsolete but legally mandatory. Some of these laws are archaic or need to be amended to keep in tune with the times. Also, many doctors feel hassled with the amount of legalese they have to deal with as it impacts their professional responsibilities adversely. The convention is an attempt to bring the 3 relevant stakeholders i.e. doctors & hospitals, policy-makers, and the judiciary together in an attempt to address the issues faced by the medical fraternity”.
Key topics to be discussed at the 4th NCML, Chennai:
Medical Tribunal – Need of the Hour / The Best Viable Alternative Today
The Parliament has recently passed the new Consumer Protection Act 2019. Healthcare providers are demanding that they must be exempted from the new Act. Doctors and hospitals are usually sued simultaneously before the Medical Council, Consumer Court, and Criminal court by the same patient and for the same wrong. Doctors are obviously stressed because of this multiplicity of legal forums and the patient also doesn’t benefit due to the delay in the cases.
Medicine is a complex subject and the courts require subject experts who can understand the nuances of the subject. Hence the need of the hour is to explore if ‘Medical Tribunals’ could work as an option. This could result in a single forum having jurisdiction over all cases of medical negligence comprising judges competent in medical & legal affairs. Quick and fair decisions will ensure satisfaction of all the stakeholders in this critical sector.
Linking Aadhar with Sonography – An Unconventional Solution for Female Foeticide
Doctors and hospitals despise the PCPNDT Act. This Act imposes criminal prosecution for failure to adhere to lengthy procedures and maintain elaborate records. Even after having such a strict law for almost over two decades, we are yet to see the desired results. Healthcare providers also maintain that the onus of female feticide lies on the mother-to-be and / or her family. Dr. K. Narasimha Rao, a practicing orthopaedic surgeon from Trichy, is advocating an innovative solution with Aadhar. The reasons for such a solution are clear, cogent, and convincing and could prove to be a game-changer for all the concerned stakeholders, especially doctors.
Sensitivity Tests for Antibiotics – Medically Obsolete, but Legally Mandatory
Antibiotics have always required a sensitivity test to be conducted on the patient, but in the last few years medical science has realized that except for ‘Penicillium’, administering a sensitivity dose is now useless. In most cases despite giving a sensitivity dose the chances of the patient suffering from a delayed hyper-sensitivity reaction is high. The practice of giving sensitivity doses before administering antibiotic has therefore being discontinued all over the world. Unfortunately, consumer courts in India are probably unaware of this recent development.
“The science of medicine as well as law are dynamic in nature, these will keep bringing in newer challenges in newer areas. This annual event will address these developments and raise, discuss, and deliberate these issues, and suggest practical solutions to doctors and hospitals. The outcome of these deliberations will be compiled in a ‘white-paper’ which will update the policy makers with the lacunae in the legal and regulatory framework on an ongoing basis and ensure that the outcome of this exercise is taken to its logical conclusion”, added Dr. Ravisankar.