Law And Ethics For Medical Professionals

Law and Ethics for Medical Professionals

Medical Professional is one of the most reputable and critical jobs as people's lives are dependent on it. This led to the evolution of Medical Law, yes in order to protect as well as set boundaries for health professionals there is a separate section of the law in the Indian Penal Code. All law aspirants as well as medical aspirants must be aware of the laws, ethics and Medical code of conduct to proceed in their careers successfully. The need for these ethics and laws is dire as a single mistake by a medical professional can cause to patient’s life as well as this also protects the medical professionals in unwanted situations. It is also necessary for law aspirants to have knowledge about these laws as medical law is consist of different branches of law such as civil law, criminal law, family law, Human rights and contract law, and it is a highly demanded field of study in legal professions.

Indian Law protects Doctors through the Indian Penal Code’s Section 88 to Section 92, because the law believes that the doctor or medical professional is always in good faith for their professionals. But at the very same time court has seen many hazardous cases associated with medical practice. That’s why legal aspirants must be aware of all ethics and code of conduct in medical professions, there are a number of online law certification courses based on a deep understanding of the crux of medical law and ethics and also teaches about the conflicts between these two in medical as well as the legal professions. 

Medical Laws:

Ever since the formation of the Indian Penal Code, there are sections of laws and legislation which provide guidelines for health practitioners and also protect them. After independence, many acts and bills were passed by parliament in order to amplify health care delivery in India. These laws and sections hold equal importance in the professional life of doctors as well as medical lawyers, so both of them must know all these laws and the reason for evolution behind them. The following is the list of Laws related to health professionals in India;

  • Constitution of India

  • The Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 

  • Indian Medical Council ( Professional Conduct, Etiquette, and Ethics) Regulation, 2002

  • Dentist Act, 1948

  • Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970

  • Homeopathy Central Council Act, 1973

  • Indian Nursing Council Act, 1947

  • Mental Health Act, 1987

  • Pharmacy Act 1948

  • Transplantation of Human Organ, 1994

And many other legislations are present in India that both conduct and regulate the medical professions and also these legislations are made by keeping the public interest in mind. These laws ensure that any kind of medical malpractice is being properly and accordingly punished.

Medical Negligence:

Medical Negligence means omission by a health care provider in which the treatment provided falls below the accepted standard of practice in the medical community and causes injury and death to a patient. There are a significant number of cases filed every other day in court due to Medical Negligence in India. In simple terms, medical negligence is the occurrence of mistakes or negligence in health professions. There are many different ways a health professional can commit this negligence, such as; the wrong diagnosis of the disease or symptoms, any kind of delay in diagnosis from the doctor’s side, error in any surgery, an unnecessary surgery, error in childbirth or any kind malpractice during labour. 

Ethics for Medical Professionals:

Medical ethics also known as Health care ethics is based on the code of ethics that medical professionals can refer to in case of any confusion and conflict. These ethics clarifies the roles and responsibilities of health professionals. Medical ethics are concerned with the obligation of health professionals and hospitals towards patients, other health professionals and other professionals. Some ethics of medical professionals are as follows; Commitment to professional competence, History with patients, Confidentiality of patients, and maintaining an appropriate relationship with patients. But generally, there are main 4 types of medical ethics, Autonomy (Patients consent to choose or refuse treatment), Benifiecence ( best interest of the patient in the professionals' mind), Non- maleficence( not to cause harm), and Justice ( refers to the distribution of inadequate but necessary health resources and people receiving them according to their needs and requirements). 

Conflict between Laws and Ethics:

The conflict between law and ethics in the medical profession is unavoidable. There are many situations for a medical professional where if they abide by the legal boundations then they are breaking their medical ethics, but if they work according to the medical ethics then they are breaking the law and can get sued and in some cases can lose their licence too. So it is a tough call for the practitioners to choose between Medical law and ethics. Although being closely related to each other and yet being completely different, these laws and ethics maintain the systematic work environment in medical professions. 

Role of Lawyers in Medical Professions:

All the rules, laws, and ethics in the medical profession require the guidance of legal professionals. In medical professions there are different types of liabilities such as criminal, tort, and civil, in order to deal with such liability, there is a need for proper legal professionals. This leads to the evolution of the field of law in the medical field. This is not just limited to the negligence lawsuits, but this also includes life insurance, infringement of medical ethics and guidelines by the Indian medical council. These lawyers are mainly concerned with the medical industry, individuals or public health or insurance. This makes the practice of legal professionals in the medical industry a high-demand job and many online legal courses are providing career-oriented knowledge based on this field of law.


The link between the medical industry and the legal industry is unbreakable and it is essential for both medical practitioners and an individual to know their legal rights and duties. There are many organizations which work on the health laws and malpractices and negligence in this sector. There is tremendous development of health laws in India and also international organizations are also participating in this interest. The strictness regarding the media law is also getting high as at present time few people have made the medical industry a tool for making money and also hospitals are treating patients differently. So to deal with this exploitation is it necessary for an individual to know their legal rights, as well as the medical professional, can also report this kind of practice to the Indian Medical Council.