Jail term to medicos for negligence: IMA to hold sensitization drive against BNS

The section 106 of the BNS, states that death by negligence caused by a registered medical practitioner while performing a medical procedure shall be punished for two years with a fine.
Image used for representational purpose
Image used for representational purpose

NEW DELHI: The Indian Medical Association (IMA) will launch a campaign against a section of new criminal law–Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS)—that punishes modern medicine practitioners with a fixed jail term if they are found culpable of medical negligence.

The law in question is section 106 of the BNS, which states that death by negligence caused by a registered medical practitioner while performing a medical procedure shall be punished for two years with a fine.

Dr RV Asokan, national president of IMA, said, “When the BNS was still a draft and a public opinion was sought, we asked the government to do away with the imprisonment. Union Home Minister Amit Shah, on the floor of Parliament, promised that it would not be applicable to medical practitioners. However, it never made to the criminal code.”

The IMA has decided on a nationwide sensitization drive to spread awareness against the new law.

A letter was dispatched to all 1,800 local units of the IMA from the headquarters asking them to gear-up for the campaign, which will be held from last week of July to the first week of August, where the medical body’s demands of bringing a central protection law for medicos will also be highlighted.

“To establish criminal liability, it is important to ascertain whether the intent to cause harm existed. In cases of criminal medical negligence, the intention to cause harm has been replaced by gross negligence while it has not been defined in the BNS,” the letter read.

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