Medico-Legal principles underpin every move a clinician makes. Knowing the medical law and guidance that surrounds one’s actions, will enable Doctors to justify them., Gist of some of Important general Medico-legal Dos & Dont’s.
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- Advisable – Take feedback at discharge from the patient /attendants in a register/form kept for this purpose.
- Anticipate and take appropriate precautions for any exigency/contingency that could arise due to ‘normal human behavior.’
- Do not discriminate HIV patients
- Advisable-Cases where legal action is anticipated /threatened
- Advisable – Make and preserve photocopies of investigations recorded on thermal / chemical coated / special paper.
- Advisable – Avoid any abnormal reaction or overreaction after a medical mishap.
- Record certain relevant and patient-related observations (like ‘patient feeling nervous’) in the medical records.
- Advisable – Take appropriate precautions to minimize human error.
- Treatment by a non-allopathic doctor with allopathic drugs
- Ensure that outside food is not taken by the patient when in- house food is provided.
- Advisable – Club HPE charges with surgery/procedure charges in cases where it is mandatory to send the samples for HPE after that surgery/procedure.
- Send samples for HPE where it is mandatory to do so.
- Advisable – Deal tactfully with political pressures.
- Advisable -Take the patient’s history in the patient’s handwriting on a printed form having suitable columns /spaces, especially during the first consultation / before admission.
- Take holidays into account while referring patients for investigations.
- Execute a proper legal agreement with NGOs / other agencies before providing them with hospital facilities. Intimate
their patients about such agreements in writing.
- Contemplate and take extra care in changing a medicine.
- Record specifically refusal failure of the patient/attendants to do something that is required to be done.
- Advisable – Ensure that documents like consent/information sheets / medical records are written by a single person and with the same pen without changing the ink.
- Advice the patient to seek medical help elsewhere rather than wait if the requisite infrastructure/facility/doctors are unavailable.
- Confirm the rules applicable in your ‘State’ before starting treatment of malaria on a presumptive basis.
- Advisable – Cross-check veracity of reports of another facility/hospital/doctor produced by the patient in legal proceedings.