On behalf of the editorial and publishing team I thank all of you
for your valuable patronage on this first anniversary of Medical Law
Cases – For Doctors (MLCD).
One query that has been frequently received by us – “How is this
journal made” needs to be answered first. This question is but
natural because even though by definition MLCD is a law reporter, it
is meant for doctors and not lawyers.
MLCD presently has 16 teams of advocates spread all over India,
as judgments are delivered by one Supreme Court, one National
Consumer Commission, twenty six State Consumer Commissions and
twenty two High Courts. These teams collect, sort, and send copies
of judgments to the editorial office where once again the judgments
Judgments on procedural laws as well as those that are irrelevant
from a doctor’s perspective are removed. The remaining judgments are
then sent to three teams headed by Advocate Anil Nair in Cochin,
Advocate Vishnu Joshi in Ahmedabad, and Advocate Balaji Srinivasan
in New Delhi where they are summarized in the ‘Abstract and Advice’
and sent back to the editorial office.
These ‘Abstract and Advice’ are then discussed by the editorial team
comprising of advocates and doctors including our publisher Dr. D.
K. Sahu. The focus at all times is on ‘Suggested precautions’ and
valuable inputs of the editorial team endeavors to make it more
practically useful to doctors in their day-to-day practice.
One more clarification also needs to be given as we regularly
receive comments from our subscribers that a particular precaution
is not reflected in the judgment. At times it is so. Rather than
sticking to any technical issue the editorial policy is to make the
journal more practically useful to doctors. This is sought to be
achieved by incorporating more and more precautions that guide
doctors in areas of potential dangers even if they cannot be
gathered from the judgment.
The personal experience of the editorial team which has the best
advocates in medical laws is put to use in drafting these
precautions. Two instances will prove the point.
In one instance when the editorial team was discussing the case
of G. Balakrishna Pai & Anr v/s Sree Narayana Medical Mission
General Hospital and T. B. Clinic & Ors (Page No. a94 / j291 – July,
2008 issue), Mr. Jai Chinai, Senior Advocate (Chairman of Institute
of Medicine & Law), who is not a member of the editorial board was
He recounted a case where his opinion was sought by a hospital.
The defense of the hospital was that the time in the duty nurse’s
watch was different from that in the hospital’s watch and hence
there was some admitted discrepancy in recording of time in medical
record of the patient. Interestingly, the nurse’s watch was in
accordance with the watch of the suburban trains of Mumbai and not
that of the hospital. The editorial board realized this as a
potential area of threat to hospitals and nursing homes and
accordingly drafted the precaution - ”All the watches that are used
for recording time in a hospital/nursing home (wrist, table or wall)
must be synchronized, i.e. they must have the same time. Moreover,
medical, para-medical, and nursing staff must be duly instructed to
note and record the time from only such watches, which are
synchronized.”, This issue however cannot be found in the judgment.
All advocates who appear in cases of medical negligence will
agree that the fi rst customary allegation made by patients against
doctors is about consent forms – difference in handwriting or ink,
signature on blank consent forms, etc. Thus, the personal experience
of advocate-members of the editorial board found an expression in
the following precaution though the same cannot be culled from the
judgment – “Consent form must be fi lled by one doctor/nurse, in one
sitting, if possible without changing the pen though counseling the patient
may take more than one sitting.” (Dr. Ajay Kumar Gupta v/s Indira
Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences & Anr, Page No. a138 / j431 –
October 2008 issue)
I hope that more such queries and suggestions will be directed to
us so that we are able to make MLCD even more useful to the medical
Thank you and best wishes for the ‘New Year’.
Advocate Supreme Court of India