Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 61  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 405-408

Psychiatrist facing litigation

Department of Psychiatry, Kamala Nehru Hospital, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Manohar R Dhadphale
Department of Psychiatry, Kamala Nehru Hospital, Mangalwar Peth, Pune - 411 005, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_316_17

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Malpractice is civil wrong actionable by law. It is true, we have statistically an outside chance of getting sued. Among physicians of all specialties, we have, between 2.6% in North America and 1.3% in Europe, chance of facing malpractice suit. But, that is no comfort for one being sued. Malpractice generally involves, among others, wrongdoing or professional misconduct. It may or may not lead to legal action. I describe two cases of malpractice and its impact on the morale of my mental health team. In one case, the family were seeking compensation by claiming “medical negligence” in a trivial mishap. They had involved the local press to “publicize” their claim. In another case, the grievance arose due to anti-electroconvulsive therapy views of the patient's sister. The families decided not to sue us and accepted decisions of local inquiry. Not much is written on this subject in our country. The cases are almost 20 years old but are still relevant. The author describes the harrowing experience of the team members while the investigation was on. Fortunately, the inquiry panel concluded the proceedings in just 4 weeks. In addition, the author advises how one can prepare the defense. The readers would find informative the case vignettes and strategy to deal with the crisis.



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