BOLAM TEST:”A doctor is not negligent if he is acting in accordance with a practice accepted as PROPER by responsible body of medical men skilled in that art even though other doctors adapt a different practice”.
The test is applied in diagnosis, to advice and to treat the patient.
LORD SCARMAN restated that “a doctor is not negligent if he acts in accordane with the practice accepted at that time as proper by a responsible body of medical opinion even though other doctors adopt a different practice”.
Later it is amended, saying that if jury is not satisfied with procedure done by defendant which is even backed by medical body can proved negligent.
It is the duty of the anaesthetist to attend the patient, assess him and optimise the patient with necessary investigations and treatment.
No guarantee should be given regarding awareness or morbidity.
Duty to provide : It is the duty of the government or hospital management to provide adequate and trained hands. They must provide all necessary latest functioning equipment. Trainee should be regularly supervised by the seniors.
5) Be physically and mentally active, ensure high quality service.
6) Use techniques that are currently practiced and safe.
7) Adequate written record of Anaesthetic procedure and monitoring data. “Black box” like evidence can be shown in times of need. A complaint of awareness can be now defended with latest Bisindex monitoring.
To ascertain the facts, there will be two sets of facts but only one set is true. It is duty of the jury to decide which one is true. Judges may also act as fact finders. Medical record is the primary source of information.
Second source of fact is the testimony of those who witnessed the event. Don’t recall or imagine the things.
Third source is the usual practice pattern of the Anaesthetist. Routine actions during the Anaesthetic practice even if not recorded is taken as granted but very credible.
Fourth source of the fact is expert witness testimony. Jurors may be laymen in medicine. They see the medical records, doctors depositions.