Sections in IPC in defence of Medical Practice to avoid Criminal Litigation

*Section 80* – Accident in doing a lawful act

Nothing is an offense, which is done by accident or misfortune and without any criminal intention or knowledge in the doing of a lawful manner by lawful means and with proper care and caution.

– Practice of Medical profession administering Injection / Incision / Suturing as per MCI is lawful.

*Section 81* – Act likely to cause harm, but done without criminal intent, and to prevent other harm

Nothing is an offence merely by reason of its being done with the knowledge that it is likely to cause harm, if it be done without any criminal intention to cause harm, and in good faith for the purpose of preventing or avoiding other harm to person or property.

– Enucleation of Right eye with endophthalmitis to prevent spread of infection to left eye.

*Section 87* – Act not intended and not known to be likely to cause death or grievous hurt, done by consent

Nothing which is not intended to cause death, or grievous hurt, and which is not known by the doer to be likely to cause death or grievous hurt, is an offence by reason of any harm which it may cause, or be intended by the doer to cause, to any person, above eighteen years of age, who has given consent, whether express or implied, to suffer that harm; or by reason of any harm which it may be known by the doer to be likely to cause to any such person who has consented to take the risk of that harm.

– Patient died in intra-operative period due to expected complication and after consent taken after due explanation.

*Section 89* – Act done in good faith for benefit of child or insane person, by or by consent of guardian

Nothing which is done in good faith for the benefit of a person under twelve years of age, or of unsound mind, by or by consent, either express or implied, of the guardian or other person having lawful charge of that person, is an offence by

-Child subjected to Appendectomy surgery with consent of parent /guardian.

*Section 90* – Consent known to be given under fear or misconception

A consent is not such a consent as is intended by any section of this Code, if the consent is given by a person under fear of injury, or under a misconception of fact, and if the person doing the act knows, or has reason to believe, that the consent was given in consequence of such fear or misconception;

-Subjected to Hysterectomy without scientific evidence for hysterectomy and later found to be non -malignant (HP Report) Patient can claim she was threatened with fear of malignancy.

*Section 92* – Act done in good faith for benefit of a person without consent

Nothing is an offence by reason of any harm which it may cause to a person for whose benefit it is done in good faith even without that person’s consent, if the circumstances are such that it is impossible for that person to signify consent, and has no guardian or other person in lawful charge of him from whom it is possible to obtain in time for the thing to be done with benefit;

-Amputation of limb in a crush injury in EOT to prevent loss of blood and life.

*Section 93* – Communication made in good faith

No communication made in good faith is an offence by reason of any harm to the person to whom it is made, if it is made for the benefit of that person.

-Information of malignancy given to patient not to mentally harass but to give the true fact.


Chairman Legal cell IMA HQ


Vice Chairman, Legal Cell HQ


Secretary, Legal Cell


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