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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 59  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 73-78

Anaesthesia provider's perception of law: Focus on preventive measures

1 Department of Anaesthesia, Government Medical College, Amritsar, Punjab, India
2 Practising Anaesthesiologist, Kohlapur, Maharashtra, India
3 Department of ENT, Government Medical College, Amritsar, Punjab, India
4 Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College, Amritsar, Punjab, India
5 Practising Advocate, Punjab and Haryana High Court, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Gagandeep Kaur
Department of Anaesthesia, Government Medical College, Amritsar - 143 001, Punjab
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5049.151342

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Anaesthesiology is a speciality that delivers most prompt and positive results in medical field. This naturally leads to high expectations among the general public. In the past, patients used to subject themselves to surgery after signing a simple willingness form. But in the present scenario, if any catastrophe occurs, it grabs news headlines, negligence is suspected by laymen in such cases, and these cases land up in a court of law. In the courts, decisions are left to judiciary, which can be potentially influenced by the opinon of general public. This leaves a lot of subjectivity in these decisions. There has been a rising trend in medical negligence cases registered in consumer courts after the decision of the Supreme Court, that the services provided by an anaesthesiologist come under the word "service" of Consumer Protection Act (1986). So the apprehension amongst the anaesthesiologists regarding the legal issues is rising. This article underlines the standard of care, protocols by which anaesthesiologists should abide to avoid legal consequences. Doctors should have legal awareness so that they can defend their cases in courts properly. There is a need to maintain healthy doctor-patient relationship, good record keeping, and to provide a reasonable standard of care. Doctors should keep abreast with the latest development in the medical field.

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