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Centre granted time to amend Code of Medical Ethics

By J. Venkatesan

NEW DELHI, FEB. 5. The Supreme Court on Wednesday gave three weeks time to the Centre to frame into laws three specific changes in the Code of Medical Ethics and Regulations for investigation of complaints of medical negligence against doctors as framed by the Medical Council Act (MCA).

The Centre was also asked to file its proposals on the issue of nominating "non-medical members" to every State Medical Council in the country.

A Bench of Justice Shivaraj V Patil and Justice D.M. Dharmadhikari, was hearing a public interest petition.

The three new rules that will be added in Section 8 (relating to Punishment and Disciplinary Action against doctors) of the MCA are:

A complaint against doctors will be automatically transferred to the central MCI for adjudication six months after filing the complaint before any State Medical Council (SMC).

Alleged victims of medical negligence may appeal against the decision by any SMC directly to the MCI.

Non-medical members will have to be included in the body of all Medical Councils to avoid any conflict of interest in the investigation of allegations against the errant doctors. (Currently only Delhi Medical Council has members who are non-doctors).

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