Healthcare Consumerism and Changing Doctor-Patient Relationship
Posted: 1 Mar 2012
Date Written: November 10, 2011
Doctor-patient relationship is a crux of medical care delivery infrastructure. It is based on in egalitarian notions where power and authority is vested with physicians. However, with the changes in socio-economic and politico-legal milieu this sacred covenant is altering. This appears to be true to the Indian situation. With the inclusion of medical services within the ambit of the Consumer Protection Act, patients are now entitled to approach consumer forums for redressed of their grievances. In general, medical professionals viewed it as a threat to their professional hegemony. Consumerism, Medicine and the Law looks at the changing doctor-patient relationship in India with special reference to the Consumer Protection Act. Medical negligence is from time immemorial, but due to the recent development in consumerism and human rights the cases become very typical regarding the fixation of liability and on what grounds, even if certain parameters have fixed it is very necessary that doctors must not in any way suffer their negligence in spite of remedy under different laws. The patients of medical negligence are still suffering and they need additional protection, especially the patients of government hospitals.
The paper attempts to analyses a wide range of issues relating to medical doctor-patient relationship, medical negligence, the ethical and legal aspect of doctor-patient relationship, in the therapeutic encounter and the role of Consumer Protection Act vis-à-vis doctor-patient relationship from the perspectives of doctors and the patients. A few cases of medical negligence are also highlighted to draw the attention of healthcare consumerism in India.
Keywords: Consumerism, medical profession, medical consumerism, medical negligence, deficiency in medical services
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