Rising Cases Against Doctors

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The rise of cases against doctors


Medicine is an essential factor when considering the well-being of the people of a nation as it can be used to ascertain the social and political process that reflects cultural values of that society (1). In India, the field of medicine has long been respected, and physicians are held in high regards for their commitment to saving lives and easing sufferings. However, in recent years there has been a concerning trend with respect to the increasing number of lawsuits involving medical personnel, and accusations range from simple incompetence to flagrant malpractice (3). This issue has not only managed to damage the profession's honourable reputation but has become a cause for concern and confusion in the community (4).

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This trend has been attributed to a variety of factors, including the rising cost of healthcare and unrealistic expectations of patients and their families. The Indian Medical Association has expressed concern over this issue and has called for measures to protect medical professionals from false and frivolous claims. According to a study, up to 75% of doctors in India have encountered some form of violence in the workplace, which is comparable to rates observed in other countries in the region. This highlights the pressing need for strategies to address workplace violence against doctors and ensure their well-being.

The criminal law bill in India has been amended to provide relief to medical professionals in cases of death caused by alleged medical negligence. The move, which has been welcomed by the medical community, aims to free doctors from criminal liability in such cases. The amendment was introduced following a request from the Indian Medical Association, which had highlighted the chilling effect that the threat of criminal prosecution has on medical professionals, discouraging them from making bold treatment decisions and saving lives.

In a recent case, a boy was awarded 5 lakh as compensation by a consumer commission for medical negligence by a hospital in Nizamabad following a surgery for an accident when he was five years old. The hospital was also directed to pay 50,000 for mental agony, 53,430 for medical expenses, and 9% interest, as well as 5,000 as litigation costs. This case highlights the impact of medical negligence on patients and their families, as well as the need for medical professionals to be held accountable for their actions.

The rising number of cases against doctors in India has had a significant impact on the medical community and the healthcare system. The threat of criminal prosecution and the burden of defending against medical negligence claims can discourage medical professionals from making bold treatment decisions, leading to a reduction in the provision of medical and surgical interventions, particularly in emergency situations. Furthermore, the stress and mental illnesses experienced by medical professionals as a result of workplace violence can worsen the delivery of healthcare services.


To address workplace violence against doctors and ensure their well-being, it is essential to implement measures to prevent and respond to incidents of violence. This can include providing training and support for medical professionals on how to handle aggressive and violent behavior, as well as increasing security measures in healthcare facilities. Additionally, efforts should be made to educate the public about the importance of respecting and valuing the work of medical professionals, and to address the root causes of unrealistic expectations and frustration that can lead to violence.