Ethical & Legal Aspects of EM in India Posted by webmaster
on September 22 2008
Emergency medical care: Its ethical and legal aspects in India Mathiharan K. National Medical Journal, India 2004;17:31-5.
Neither Indian law nor the orders of the Supreme Court and various High Courts of India have defined medical emergency. Therefore, the definition of medical emergency is still largely left to the discretion of medical professionals.
It is accepted that in injured and critically ill patients, the priority of the doctor is to save life. However, often there is reluctance on the part of doctors to attend to the emergency needs of patients who, in medical jargon, are medicolegal cases.
This unwillingness is largely due to medical professionals being unaware of their ethical and legal duties concerning the treatment of those brought to an emergency department, and the instinct to evade the inconvenience associated with subsequent legal proceedings.