In any surgery or procedure, a single consent for both surgery and
blood transfusion completed all legal requirements.
The same single consent suddenly becomes illegal. The doctor is now
required to get two separate consents from the patient. One for
surgery or procedure and another for blood transfusion, if
This important change in law was brought about by a judgement
pronounced by the National Consumer Redressal Forum on September 24.
In a case of M. Chinnaiyan v/s Sri Gokulam Hospital & Anr, the Court
declared that “Consent of the patient is required for transfusion of
blood. … Surgery involves risk and blood transfusion involves
The case amply illustrates that laws are dynamic and keep
changing. What is legal today, can become illegal tomorrow or simply
a new law may emerge. And since ignorance of law is not a defense,
it is upto the individual doctors to keep abreast of the rapidly
changing laws and indemnify themselves.
In the current environment where medico legal cases against
doctors are witnessing a sharp rise, being abreast of the fast
changing laws has become doubly pertinent. Even today there are many
doctors who continue with surgical interventions with only a single
consent. They do not realize that they are in fact negligent in the
eyes of the law and are vulnerable to medico legal litigation.
So how does a doctor remain updated with these fast changing
The shocking but hard fact is, even if the doctor wants to, he
In India there is one Supreme Court, one National Consumer
Commission, twenty six State Consumer Commissions and twenty two
High Courts with over 16 circuit and other benches, doling out
hundreds of judgements each day. And each of these judgements has
the potential to be a new law or change the existing law. The mass
of data churned out is so high that no individual doctor can remain
updated on his or her own.
To address these lacunas and considering the relevance of the
subject and its importance to doctors, Institute of Medicine & Law
is publishing this journal. It is indeed the need of the hour for
doctors in India.