Supreme Court of India Orders First Aid in Accidents – Facts Analysis


Picture about Supreme Court of India Orders First Aid in Accidents
Supreme Court of India Orders First Aid in Accidents

Story: 

Supreme Court has announced, any person who meets road accidents can be taken to the nearby hospital immediately. Hospital must not ask for police report to admit him, its doctors’ duty to do First-aid.

Police can be informed later. Pls spread this message by sharing on everything as you can . It will
help us all.!

Other Versions

Right to Emergency Care:
Date Of Judgment: 23/02/2007.
Case No.: Appeal (civil) 919 of 2007.

The Supreme Court has ruled that all injured persons especially in the case of road traffic accidents, assaults, etc., when brought to a hospital / medical centre, have to be offered first aid, stabilized and shifted to a higher centre / government centre if required. It is only after this that the hospital can demand payment or complete police formalities. In case you are a bystander and wish to help someone in an accident, please go ahead and do so. Your responsibility ends as soon as you leave the person at the hospital.

Analysis:

The messages say that Supreme Court of India has announced that people who meet with road accidents can be taken to a nearby hospital immediately, and it is the duty of a doctor to give him first-aid, without asking for a police report. This is a fact, although this is not a new law announced by the Supreme Court of India, and the legal judgement details mentioned above are not appropriate.

About the Issue

As suggested by the messages, it is a common practice in India and elsewhere not to give help to strangers who meet with road accidents. This happens because the public do not want to get into trouble of police inquiry, and doctors sometimes do not take up an accident case without the police report. This can, and have had resulted in accident deaths in the past.

Related Petition

In 1989, a similar case has been legally reported and petitioned by Parmanand Katara, who claimed himself to be a human right activist. He referred to a newspaper report concerning the death of a scooterist who was knocked down by a speeding car, stating that doctors in a nearest hospital refused to attend him and told that he has to be taken to another hospital, located some 20 kilometers away, because it was authorized to handle medico-legal cases. But unfortunately, the victim succumbed to his injuries before he could be taken to the other hospital. So the petitioner requested the Union of India to set up guidelines that every injured citizen brought for treatment should get immediate medical aid so as to preserve his life, and that the legal formalities can be allowed thereafter.

In response to this, a committee on behalf of the Union of India stated that there was no provision in the Indian Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Code, or the Motor Vehicles Act, etc. which prevented doctors from promptly attending seriously injured persons and accident cases before the arrival of police. It referred to a related act of Indian Constitution:

Constitution of India, 1950: Article 21–Obligation on the State to preserve life–Every doctor has professional obligation to extend services to protect life–All Government hospitals/Medical institutions to provide immediate medical aid in all cases.

Indian Medical Council Act, 1860: Section 33–Indian Medical Council/Code of Medical Ethics–Clauses 10 and 13–Obligation to sick–Patient not to be neglected–Court emphasized necessity to provide immediate medical aid. Practice and Procedure: Medical professional-Law courts will not summon unless evidence is necessary–Should not be made to wait and waste time unnecessarily.

The Committee also set up some definite guidelines to protect lives of people who meet with road accidents, one of which is quoted below:

Whenever any medico-legal case attends the hospital, the medical officer on duty should inform the Duty Constable, name, age, sex of the patient and place and time of occurrence of the incident, and should start the required treatment of the patient. It will be the duty of the Constable on duty to inform the concerned Police Station or higher police functionaries for further action.

Full medical report should be prepared and given to the Police, as soon as examination and treatment of the patient is over. The treatment of the patient would not wait for the arrival of the Police or completing the legal formalities.

The second version of the story mentioned above wrongly related this announcement to Right to Emergency Care, Date of Judgment: 23/02/2007, Case No.: Appeal (civil) 919 of 2007. The details of the case mentioned dealt with an entirely different case dealing with concession availed for a medical institution.

Conclusion

Human life is very valuable, it must be preserved at all costs. So every member of the medical profession and the public in general have an obligation to provide aid to victims of road accidents and help them survive possible death. There is no law that forbids this.

Hoax or Fact:

Fact with some misinformation.

References:

Pt. Parmanand Katara vs Union Of India & Ors on 28 August, 1989


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Supreme Court of India Orders First Aid in Accidents – Facts Analysis

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