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cure or bring the highest possible degree of skill and knowledge in the
treatment of his patients. On the other hand, a specialist is expected to
possess and exercise the higher degree of skill and learning in his special
line than a general medical practitioner, and is judged by comparison with
other specialists engaged in the same line.

As a precautionary measure against a charge of malpraxis a medical
practitioner should consult, or suggest the consultation of, a brother medical
practitioner or a specialist in a case, where he has some doubt about the
diagnosis or treatment, and he should examine, or suggest the examination
of, an alleged fractured or dislocated limb by X-rays, but he should not
adopt any new treatment in the form of an experiment without the consent
of the patient or his guardian, if he happens to be*a minor.

Criminal Malpraxis.—The question of criminal malpraxis may arise in a
criminal court, when the defence counsel may attribute the death of an
assaulted person to the negligence or undue interference of the medical
attendant in the treatment of the deceased. For criminal malpraxis a
medical practitioner, whether qualified or unqualified, may be prosecuted
by the police and charged in a criminal court with having caused the death
of his patient by doing a rash or negligent act not amounting to culpable
homicide under section 304-A, I.P.C., if the death was the result of gross/
carelessness, gross negligence or gross ignorance displayed by him during
the administration of an anaesthetic, performance of an operation or aiiy
other treatment. In such a case there is a presumption of the absence of
intention to cause death, and of the want of knowledge that the act done
will most probably result in death. Before a medical practitioner can be
held criminally responsible for the death of his patient, the prosecution must
prove all matters necessary to establish civil responsibility except pecuniary
loss, and in addition must prove negligence or incompetence on his part
which went beyond a mere matter of compensation between subjects and
showed such disregard for the life and safety of others as to amount to a
crime against the State.

In a case where the accused cut out the piles of a person with an
ordinary knife, and, from the profuse bleeding, the person died, it was held
that the accused was guilty of a rash and negligent act.10 An unqualified
person who was in charge of a dispensary had to make up a quantity of
quinine mixture for cases of fever. He went to a, cupboard where non-
poisonous medicines were supposed to have been kept and took therefrom
a bottle with an outside wrapper marked * poison''. This wrapper Be tore
off and threw away. The bottle was itself labelled * strychnine hydrochlo-
ride ' f but, without regarding this - and -apparently because there was a
resemblance between this bottle and another in which quinine hydrochloride
was kept, he made up the entire contents of the bottle as if it had been
quinine. The result was that seven persons died. It was held that he was
guilty under section 3Q4-A, even though he -bad no intention of doing any
bodily h&rm to the deceased, and had made up the mixture with an intent
to prevent or cure the fever.11 In a Privy Council Appeal12 in which a
medical practitioner prepared an injection which he gave to fifty-seven
children of whom ten* died and others were made gravely ill, it was held~that
the medical practitioner's one act of carelessness in preparing too strong si

solution did not amount to criminal negligence.

"i i. &3f*

10.   Sufcarop, Kabira|,   (1887)   14 Cak 56$ 569; Ratanlal and Ehakore,
Crimes, Ed. 3?VII, P- 772.    ',,',',                                                    ,

11.  .DeSouza, (1920) 42 All. 272'; Ratanlal and Tnakore, The Law of
p, 771.        "                       ** *     '   l  l J"                  ,                                 l
? 12-   John Cm Ake^fU V. ffcfc Kwg^, 44 Cr.-Law Jour., 194&,