It should be noted that the above list is not exhaustive. Any case that does not fall into any category on the list, but still has legal implications, is a medico-legal matter. The physician must recognize with professional judgment whether a case has legal or non-legal implications. Fights or physical attacks and assault and battery constituted most MLCs. Several errors were found in the MLRs provided by the doctors. The drafting of MMRs should follow standardized guidelines regarding legal procedures and patients` rights. We recommend that physicians train physicians in the drafting of MMRs in the interest of the proper administration of justice. This article was written by Adhila Muhammed Arif, a student at the Government Law School in Thiruvananthapuram. This article attempts to explain what a medico-legal case is, some important laws related to it, and what physicians should consider when dealing with medico-legal cases. A doctor may come across several cases that could indicate the commission of a specific crime.
The attending physician must mark such a case as a medico-legal case and inform the authorities. In some scenarios, these cases are referred to doctors by the court or by the police themselves. The physician must ensure that the medical examination is carried out correctly and that all forensic evidence is properly preserved. Most importantly, if the patient needs urgent treatment, the physician must first perform the pre-treatment before completing the formalities of a medico-legal file. Fortunately, doctors don`t have to worry because most hospitals now have a forensic manual that provides doctors with detailed instructions on how to handle medical cases. A total of 418 RMLs were included in this study. Fights or physical attacks and assault accounted for the largest proportion of MLCs, accounting for 83% of MLCs. Blunt injuries were the dominant type of injury in most cases (81.8%).
With respect to errors in RPMs, no RPMs were error-free in this study. In summary, physicians should be aware of the medico-legal guidelines recommended by their respective hospitals. Attending physicians should remain cautious and attentive when examining and treating the patient. You should also exercise caution when filling out medical records. They must ensure that the body is autopsied in case of death under suspicious circumstances and that the police are informed before the body is handed over to relatives. All hospitals must ensure that their physicians receive appropriate training to handle medico-legal cases. Here are some of the legal terms in the Indian Penal Code that every doctor should be aware of when dealing with a forensic matter: The legal system of the modern world is undoubtedly tightly integrated with every sector or industry of society, and the healthcare sector is no different. Because of this integration, doctors often handle medical cases that have serious legal implications. These cases are called medico-legal cases (MLCs).
Every doctor is confronted with a medico-legal case at some point in his or her life. Most of them are afraid of having to deal with forensic cases, because they imagine themselves to be summoned by the courts and the police. Fear of getting involved in lawsuits leads them to avoid or mislabel medico-legal cases. This article attempts to dispel some misconceptions about medico-legal cases and educate physicians on how to treat them. Section 177 of the Indian Penal Code states that any person required by law to disclose information about the commission of an offence to a public official and provides false information shall be liable to imprisonment for 2 years or a fine or both. Therefore, a doctor who participates in a forensic case can be punished for false information. Yes, if a doctor does not intentionally report a forensic case to the police, he will be punished with 6 months` imprisonment or a fine or both under Section 202 of the Indian Penal Code. A medico-legal case is essentially a medical case with legal implications. A medical case becomes a medico-legal case when the attending physician clinically examines the patient and his medical history and the opinion is formed that an investigation by law enforcement authorities is necessary. Medical examination of patients brought by the police or court also falls into this category. Examples of cases that fall into the category of medico-legal matters include: In Parmananda Katara v.
Union of India, the Supreme Court said: Medico-Legal Affairs: What Every Doctor Should Know Department of Forensic Medicine Thounaojam Meera, Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal, Manipur, India No, a doctor cannot refuse treatment to a patient just for this reason: Because it is a medico-legal case. This is a violation of Article 21 of the Indian Constitution as well as a violation of their treaty obligations. Save my name, email address, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Source of support: None, Conflict of interest: None. The new PMC design is here! Learn more about navigating our updated article layout. The legacy PMC view will also be available for a limited time. 1College of Medicine, King Fahad University Hospital, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia. This descriptive retrospective study was conducted at a teaching hospital in Saudi Arabia`s Eastern Province. A total of 418 MLRs submitted over a period of 6 months and verified for MLC characteristics and defect identification. Correspondence Address:Thounaojam MeeraDepartment of Forensic Science, Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal, Manipur IndiaSource of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: NoneCheckDOI: 10.4103/0972-4958.191174 Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with * “Every doctor is obliged to provide medical assistance to victims, regardless of the cause of injury; He finds no excuse to let the law take its course. ».