From the Editors Desk


January 2020

Handing Over The Baton – Welcome Dr. Shreekant Shetty, our new Editor

Message from the Editor

I was born in the sixties, graduated in the nineties and am a practicing doctor for the last twenty-seven years. I have witnessed path breaking discoveries and new inventions; and also fall of doctors from reverence of yester-years to the present era of suspicion and distrust. Twenty-five years ago when I was caught by a traffic cop for jumping a red signal, he not only let me go but also saluted before I left on knowing that I was a doctor. But today I know I may not be extended the same courtesy.

As a doctor, I know that the boundaries of treatment can never be defined in black and white. On the contrary, at times a doctor may have to push these boundaries beyond acceptable limits. An off-label use of drug or a procedure performed on gut instincts without investigations to back it may not be acceptable to medical science but the situation at that time may have demanded so. Quiet often final results do not tally with anticipated results but then medicine is an imperfect science. A doctor with Damocles sword of law hanging over his head cannot do justice either to medical science or the patient’s trust.

I studied further and graduated in law. I made attempts to understand the court’s perspective on medical practice and found that law merely wants doctors to follow medical science and its algorithms and that too in the interest of patient safety. Indian courts favour doctors but doctors are fighting a losing battle. One reason for the aforesaid happens to be the legal unawareness and confusion that pervades the medical fraternity. Law after all was never a part of medical curriculum. 

As the next editor of this prestigious and unique journal, I will continue the mission of educating doctors and bridging the gap between them and law. My focus will be to address the confusion about law amongst doctors. I will try to suggest solutions to the innumerable legal and ethical dilemmas faced by doctors today and the middle ground that will satisfy both law and medicine wherever possible. There will be judgments which may not seem to be fair to the medical profession and I will have no hesitation in saying so. Like any other profession, this profession also has its share of rotten apples and I will never hesitate in exposing them.

I am well aware of the possibility of professional bias towards peers as I am a practicing doctor. I will make every endeavour to minimize if not completely avoid the same. 

This journal has been quick in adapting and evolving. Keeping the tradition alive, from this issue onwards, in ‘Suggested Precautions’ wherever possible we will provide links to important reference material for further information and reading.

Lastly, I would like to thank the outgoing editor, the Editor-Emeritus, Adv. Mahendrakumar Bajpai, who started and edited this journal for the last 12 years. I will seek his guidance in continuing this legacy. I also thank the Institute of Medicine & Law, other members of the editorial team and associates in reposing faith in me.

Dr. Shreekant Shetty
Editor, Medical Law Cases – For Doctors

Message from the Editor Emeritus

At the outset, I thank the readers of this journal for their unstinted love, support and encouragement that I and my team enjoyed in my tenure as the editor.

17th September 2019 was the first ‘World Patient Safety Day’ declared by WHO. But twelve years back when we started the journal, patient’s safety was not a big issue in India or for that matter even in other countries. But medical errors were happening and most of them were preventable. Courts merely punish the doctors and hospitals for negligence. But the requisite processes to identify ways and means to minimize medical errors had always been lacking. This journal was conceptualized to address this gap.

This journal was and remains unique and innovative in more than one way. It is certainly the world’s first law reporter for doctors that helps them in taking legally correct decisions. The process of culling of professional errors from reported judgments in this journal is not only innovative but also an efficient tool in addressing the menace of preventable medical errors. The purpose of law when it operates in medicine is appropriately served as the suggested precautions help in enhancing patient’s safety.

Looking forward, our new editor, Dr. Shreekant Shetty, will certainly take this journal to new heights. I am confident that under his leadership this journal will contribute immensely in promoting MedLegally safe practice in healthcare not only in India but in other countries too.

I wish Dr. Shetty and the readers of MLCD a fruitful journey towards safe healthcare practice.

Mahendrakumar Bajpai
Advocate, Supreme Court of India
Editor Emeritus, Medical Law Cases – For Doctors

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    From the Editors Desk
  • Handing Over The Baton – Welcome Dr. Shreekant Shetty, our new Editor

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  • Publishes ‘real time judgments’ on medical negligence from higher courts
  • Every judgment is further summarized in simple, non-legal language
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  • Suggests practically useful ‘Do’s & Don’ts’ in day-to-day practice
  • Cases selected / analyzed solely from a doctor’s viewpoint
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