The medical profession is a noble profession and it is exciting to think about its relationship with the law – legal profession, interestingly, is also considered to be a noble profession – and its intricacies in a fast developing and evolving world, with the norms governing this relationship fast changing with the passage of time. The most intriguing aspect is the conduct of the highly trained medical professional – the doctor – and the entire team including the hospital staff and management. With aspirations becoming higher and the role of the public hospitals changing, private hospitals have tried to fill the huge gap between demand and supply. At times a number of issues are raised due to friction between rights – fundamental rights as provided in the Constitution of India, rights created by a contract, rights as a consumer, rights as a citizen of India, rights as a patient – and the corresponding duties of the State, hospitals – both public and private, doctors, and others related to health care. It becomes extremely difficult for the judges in courts to draw the line between the acceptable and unacceptable conduct in the eyes of law.
The purpose of this Executive Education Programme is to discuss the relevant issues in a class-room setting so that the participants learn from the rich discussion – facilitated by the instructor – in the class. The endeavour shall be to deal with all the significant topics. Issues related to legal aspects are primarily the constitutional mandate, medical negligence and consumer protection. There are other evolving issues like organ donation and law related to it, euthanasia, new developments in biotechnology, surrogate motherhood, sex determination of foetus, sperm donation and preservation, medical tourism, etc. The module shall focus on the issues related to medical negligence, principal-agent relationship between hospital and doctors, consumer law development and all this within the legal framework defined by the Constitution of India, and interpreted by the courts from time to time.
It shall mainly be a study of the judgements pronounced by different courts in India and elsewhere. The focus shall be on the developments in this field in the last two - three decades, particularly since the consumer protection law came into effect in India, resulting in more accountability, and unfortunately, at times harassment for medical professionals.
For anyone related to health, medicine, hospitals and policy formulation. It includes doctors, hospital administrators – both public and private, government officials involved with health and related issues, legal professionals handling medico-legal matters, NGOs working in this area, charitable trusts operating hospitals, legislative members and government officials responsible for policy formulation and execution, pharmaceutical companies, hospital staff, etc.
The pedagogy will include lectures, case studies, group discussion and exercises.