The profession of a medical practitioner is the most respected in society. It is the responsibility of the doctor to follow standard procedures and precautions while treating his patient. Negligence on the part of a doctor can cause severe hardship for the patient and can lead to the death of a patient.
To avoid it, certain duties and obligations are assigned to the operating doctor under various laws, which are as follows:
(i) Code of Medical Ethics of MCI;
(ii) Hippocratic Oath;
(iii) International Code of Medical Ethics;
(iv) Government of India Guidelines for Sterilization.
The duties of the doctors are summarized as follows:
Primary Duty: The primary duty of Doctor is to maintain good and proper medical practice. The principal objective of the medical practitioner is to render service to humanity with full respect for the dignity of the profession. Physicians should continuously improve their skills and medical knowledge and should make available the benefits of their professional attainments to the patients. The physician should practise methods of healing founded on a scientific basis and should not associate professionally with anyone who violates this principle. A physician should affiliate with associations of allopathic medical professions or any other association and involve actively in the functioning of such bodies.
Duties towards Patient: Every physician should provide information to the Patient, should take the consent for treatment, and provide with Emergency care. It is the duty of a doctor to provide the patient with due skill, care, and attention.
Duties towards Public: Every physician should guide the patient regarding the basics of health education. They should be able to give treatment to people suffering from natural calamities like floods, earthquake, drought, etc. regardless of their stature.
Maintenance of Medical Records: Every physician shall maintain the medical records about his / her patients for three years from the date of commencement of the treatment as per the standard proforma laid down by the Medical Council of India. If anyone (including the court) requests to produce information on medical records, then the same may be issued within 72 hours.
To maintain the Registers: A medical practitioner shall maintain a Register, including the details of certificates issued. While issuing a medical certificate, he shall always enter the identification marks of the patient and keep a copy of the document and certificate.
Display of Registration Numbers: Every physician shall display the registration number awarded by the State Medical Council / Medical Council of India in his clinic and also in the prescriptions, certificates, money receipts are given to his patients.
Exposure of Unethical Conduct: A Physician should expose, without fear, incompetent or corrupt, dishonest or unethical conduct on the part of members of the profession.
Professional Services: The doctor should announce his fees before rendering service and not after the treatment. Remuneration received should be in the amount specifically announced to the patient at the time of rendering the services.
Evasion of Legal Restrictions: The physician shall observe all laws regulating the practice of medicine and shall not assist others in evading the laws. He should always be cooperative in the enforcement of sanitary laws and regulations in the interest of public health.
Duties towards Law Enforcement: They should inform police of all cases of poisoning, burns, injury, illegal abortion, suicide, homicide, manslaughter, grievous hurt, etc.
Duty of physician to avoid any Illegal Activity: The physicians should not perform illegal abortions, issue death certificates where the cause of death is not known, sex determination, etc.