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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 54  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 591 Table of Contents     

Vicarious liability

Bhaskar Medical College, Andhra Pradesh, India

Date of Web Publication22-Nov-2010

Correspondence Address:
S C Parakh
Bhaskar Medical College, Andhra Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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How to cite this article:
Parakh S C. Vicarious liability. Indian J Anaesth 2010;54:591

How to cite this URL:
Parakh S C. Vicarious liability. Indian J Anaesth [serial online] 2010 [cited 2020 Oct 22];54:591. Available from: https://www.ijaweb.org/text.asp?2010/54/6/591/72667


With reference to the medico legal article "Vicarious liability" [1] I submit the latest judgment of Delhi High Court. It is clear that hospital cannot be held vicariously liable for the negligent acts of independent consultant doctors not employed by it.

Independent consultants who are not employees of the hospital but use the facilities provided by a hospital are solely responsible for their negligent acts and cannot invoke vicarious liability of the hospital.

Principle of vicarious liability is"an employee is under the control of his employer. Therefore, it is deemed that the employer is acting through his employee. So, he is held responsible for that act done by the employee. Therefore, an employer should be careful while employing a person and employ only competent persons." This is not the case with independent consultant doctors. Since independent consultant doctors are not under control of the hospital, they can hide under the shield of "vicarious liability".

Deccan Chronicle Hyderabad, Monday 09 August 2010

   Medical Negligence Deaths Top

Doc responsible and not hospital

New Delhi, August 08: If a patient dies due to medical negligence in a hospital, then its management cannot be prosecuted and it is only the doctors who should be penalized, the Delhi High Court has ruled.

However, the court held that the management of the hospital would be liable in case of administrative negligence and failure to provide basic infrastructure to patients.

Justice Shiv Narayan Dhingra passed the order on a petition filed by Indraprashta Medical Corporation Limited, challenging a metropolitan magistrate's order for registration of a first information report against it for alleged medical negligence resulting in the death of a patient in 2007.

Justice Dhingra said that the hospital or company cannot be held liable for the personal negligence of the doctor in giving wrong treatment. He also said that if there is an administrative negligence or negligence in providing basic infrastructure, which results in some harm to an aggrieved person, the hospital can be held liable.

The court said that hospitals should not be punished due to error on part of its medical staff.

   References Top

1.Kumbar S. Vicarious liability - Medicolegal status of anaesthesiologist. Indian J Anaesth 2010;54:183.  Back to cited text no. 1
  Medknow Journal  


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