Court says no need of consent for outdoor day-care procedures

  • Posted on: December 16, 2021

Is it necessary to take patient’s consent for outdoor day-care procedures such as dental treatments, etc.? The Consumer Commission in this case has ruled in the negative.

During root canal treatment (RCT), the root canal file or needle broke and remained stuck between patient’s teeth. The dentist informed patient about this fact and advised to wait and watch before next follow up. He also agreed to treat her without any cost in lieu of this mishap.

The patient, however, was probably perturbed about a foreign object lodged in her mouth. She visited another dentist who removed the broken needle.

She sued the first dentist and alleged that he performed RCT negligently. She also alleged that her signature was not taken on clinical notes.

Citing medical literature, the Commission observed that fracture of root canal file during RCT is a known complication. The Commission also drew positive inference from doctor’s submission about the broken needle.

More importantly, the Commission stated that “it is well known that the root canal and dental treatments are outdoor day-care treatments and therefore formalities such as taking patient’s signature on clinical notes would not be followed”.

While the case against dentist was dismissed, it would be advisable, as a precautionary measure, to take patient’s signature on consent form / clinical notes.

Source: Order pronounced by Gujarat State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission on 30th July, 2021.