'Eggshell Skull' Theory


Supreme Court has Applications of the 'Eggshell Skull' Principle has rejected and restored the compensation of Rs 5 lakh awarded by the District Consumer Forum in a case of medical negligence.

'Eggshell Skull' Theory

  • it civil litigation is a common law principle applying in.
  • Meaning: It is applied when the offender will be liable for all injuries which may be aggravated by the pre-existing conditions of the injured person, of which the offender may not be aware. Infirmity of a person cannot be used as a defense to avoid liability.
    • this principle To claim enhanced compensation Enforced, for damage that is greater than the defendant ordinarily expected to cause.
  • Produce: Vosburgh v. Putney (1890) The concept of 'eggshell skull' theory was first developed in the case of
    • Example: Imagine a person whose brain is extremely thin, as sensitive as an eggshell, even though the person looks completely normal. This person's brain has been attacked by some other person, unaware of the sensitive nature of his brain. A normal person would have been slightly injured, but the person with the 'eggshell skull' would have died.
    • According to the rule of 'eggshell skull': A person who kills a person who looks like an 'eggshell skull' will be held responsible for the serious consequences that would have been caused to that person, and not just for the harm that would have been caused to an ordinary person. This is also often called the 'thin skull rule'.

current affairs

  • it medical negligence There was a case in which in 2005, when a patient's appendix was removed in a hospital in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh, a 2.5 cm foreign object (needle) was left in his stomach.
    • District Consumer Forum Patient for medical negligence by hospital 5 lakh rupees to Gave compensation.
  • Appeal: State Consumer Forum refused compensation on the hospital's appeal. reduced to Rs 1 lakh did, which National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) By implementing the 'eggshell skull' rule, it was increased to Rs 2 lakh.
  • Supreme Court
    • It gave 2 reasons for increasing the compensation. By restoring the decision of the District Forum on compensation. Given, that is, the patient had to suffer pain for more than 5 years and it took more than a decade for the case to be decided.
    • Eggshell theory rejected: This will not apply in this case as there is no pre-existing vulnerability or medical condition which may have been aggravated by the negligence, causing abnormal harm to the victim.

medical negligence

  • it only There is a failure to exercise reasonable care and it occurs when a doctor fails to perform to the standards of his profession. The three elements of 'negligence' are as follows:
    • The defendant owes a duty of care to the plaintiff.
    • The defendant has breached this duty of care.
    • The plaintiff suffered injury as a result of this breach.
  • Is medical negligence covered under Consumer Protection Act: Yes, in 1995, the medical profession was brought under the Consumer Protection Act 1986 by the Supreme Court and medical treatments were labeled as services.
  • rights available to the patient
    • right to Information: Patients have the right to be informed about their illness and their medical records and should also be informed about the treatments/medications prescribed and made aware of any risks and side effects.
    • Right to Privacy: Patients have the right to maintain confidentiality regarding their illness and can expect the same from doctors.
    • Right to second opinion: Patients have the right to seek a second opinion if they have doubts about the prescribed medications or treatment.
    • informed consent: If he is unconscious or incapable of taking decisions for other reasons, informed consent must be obtained from his nearest relatives.

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