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The truth about medical negligence

Rajinder Paul Jindal

DOI: 10.20529/IJME.2014.012


A vast majority of people believes that doctors are a negligent lot. This often implies that doctors are not courteous enough, are brusque to the point of being rude, are not available when needed, and prescribe unnecessary laboratory tests, scans and medicines. At a function organised by the Indian Medical Association on medical negligence, a veteran politician, otherwise very articulate, was at a loss to define it. Finally, he said, “Don’t you people leave your scissors or gauze pieces in the stomachs of patients?” The usual complaints of being rude and unsympathetic pertain more to a lack of professional courtesy, which is our national trait. Doctors are no exception, though this national trait only explains their conduct and does not excuse or justify it.

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