Dr Archana Sharma MedLegal HelpDesk

Doctors across the country lack awareness and knowledge about laws which at times leads to unpleasant consequences. They need to be educated and made aware not only about their legal duties and responsibilities but also about their legal rights and privileges. The requisite legal help should also be available to them and that too easily.

One aspect that needs immediate attention is criminal proceedings against doctors in cases of medical negligence. Since 2005, the Hon’ble Supreme Court has provided unique protections to all doctors in criminal cases but unfortunately many doctors are unaware of the same. The mere thought of a police action is enough to make every law-abiding citizen nervous. Doctors are no exceptions although they are legally well-protected. The tragic suicide of one such doctor in Rajasthan recently has highlighted the immediate need for creating legal awareness and providing legal help.

To address this issue of concern, Institute of Medicine & Law is running this HelpDesk for doctors in close partnership with medical associations. It will make efforts to educate doctors and provide them with the requisite legal help in situations where the doctor is charged or threatened with criminal proceedings or is facing police action for medical negligence.

This service will operate in three distinct areas as follows:

1. Legal Aid & Advice

Lawyers from the Supreme Court will advise and counsel doctors and may also speak with the police on telephone, if required. All efforts will be made to reach out to the aggrieved doctor at the earliest. The turnaround time will not be more than an hour.

Another feature of this service will be to help aggrieved doctors in filing a ‘Contempt Petition’ before the Supreme Court in cases where the police action is contrary to or inconsistent with the directions given in Jacob Mathews case.

Working
Any doctor who wishes to avail of this service can connect on the mobile numbers of the official nominees appointed by his/her associations if they have partnered in this initiative. Others can send an email to helpdesk@imlindia.com and we will get back to the doctor at the earliest.

Names, email ids and mobile numbers of the official nominees will be available on the websites of IML and the partner associations.

2. Webinars for Medical Societies / Hospitals / Medical Colleges / Doctors’ Groups

Any medical society, hospital, medical college, doctors’ groups, and so on which wishes to conduct a webinar for their own group of doctors on this subject will be provided with a speaker by IML free of cost.

Working
Send an email to helpdesk@imlindia.com and we will get back to you.

3. Doctor-Volunteers (Train-the-trainer)

IML is willing to train volunteers from amongst the doctors who wish to contribute to this cause. IML will provide the content and reference material, and also conduct training sessions for these volunteers on this subject. These trained volunteers will in turn conduct more training sessions and share this legal knowledge and information amongst peers in their association and/or locality. IML will not charge these volunteers for the training, and they will also not charge anything for educating their fraternity.

Working
All those doctors who wish to volunteer Register Now and we will get back to you.

IML will organize the training sessions. Content, judgments, slide deck, and the commonly asked questions will be shared with the volunteers. In case, they are unable to answer any question in any training session, they could ask for help from IML. Every effort will be made to keep the trainers updated with the changes in law, new judgments, new queries raised by doctors and / or dilemmas faced by them.

Note

  • All the above-mentioned services will be available free-of-cost to all doctors across the country.
  • These services are limited to situations wherein the doctor is charged and / or threatened with criminal action and / or is facing police action for medical negligence, that is, in cases where the Jacob Mathews judgement is applicable.