Medical Negligence: Essential Elements
By Team Legistify / 2017-07-22
Negligence is the breach of a legal duty to care. Thus, the legal duty of a person means the duty the law gives to every person to respect the legal rights of the other. Therefore, the legal right of a person can be defined as the provisions provided by law to protect the interests of its citizen. We must remember then that where there is a legal right, there is a legal remedy for it. This is inferred from the maxim “Ubi jus ibi remedium”.

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Man is the only animal who believes in keeping order in his world. This was one of the reasons that he invented the concept of law. Law helped every man who suffered an injury due to the acts committed by others, to seek remedy by means of compensation or punishment to the person committing that act. It was at this time that the field of medicine was developing.

Since no man is perfect in this world, it is evident that a person who is skilled and has knowledge of a particular subject can also commit mistakes during his practice. Such mistakes in the medical profession may lead to minor injuries or some serious kinds of injuries and sometimes these kinds of mistakes may even cause death. In such situations, there arises a need for a remedy to the injured people so that justice is upheld and this gave rise to the concept of medical negligence .

Doctor's Certain Duties

When a doctor attends to his patient, he owes him certain duties of care viz.

  1. A duty of care in deciding whether to undertake the case,
  2. A duty of care in deciding what treatment to give and
  3. A duty of care in the administration of treatment.
Negligence is the breach of a legal duty to care. Thus, the legal duty of a person means the duty the law gives to every person to respect the legal rights of the other. Therefore, the legal right of a person can be defined as the provisions provided by law to protect the interests of its citizen. We must remember then that where there is a legal right, there is a legal remedy for it. This is inferred from the maxim “Ubi jus ibi remedium”.

Have a Legal Issue?

Get connected to the Best Lawyers and Chartered Accountants Near You!


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