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Professional Negligence

  1. Is the absence of reasonable care and skill, or willful negligence of a doctor in the treatment of a patient, which may result in injury or death.
  2. Sec 304 A IPC, deals with medical negligence.
  3. 304 A IPC - Whoever causes the death of any person by doing any rash or negligent act not amounting to culpable homicide shall be punished with imprisonment upto 2 years or with fine or both.
  1. Defences Against Negligence.
    1. No duty owed to plaintiff.
    2. Duty discharged according to prevailing circumstances.
    3. Therapeutic misadventure.
    4. Error of judgment.
    5. Contributory negligence.
    6. Res judicata.
    7. Limitation of period of maximum 2 years after the occurrence of negligence upto which the case can be failed against the doctor. 
  2. Civil Negligence: 
    1. When a patient dies any patient can bring a suit in the civil court for realization of compensation from his doctor if the patient had suffered injury due to negligence.
    2. When a doctor brings a civil suit for the realization of his fee from the patient or his relative who refuses to pay the same alleging professional negligence.


Professional negligence

Infamous conduct


Absence of care or skill, willful negligence.

Violation of code of medical ethics.


Should be present.


Need not be present.



Should be present.

Need not be present.


Courts – civil and criminal.

State medical council.



Fine or imprisonment.


Erasure of name or warning.


To higher court.


To state or central government

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