National Convention on Medicine & Law (NCML)

National Convention on Medicine & Law (NCML) is an endeavour to identify the many contentious legal issues relating to medicine, discuss them threadbare, and suggest remedial measures. It updates the policy makers and the opinion formers with the lacunae in the current legal and regulatory framework. It also attempts to ensure that the outcome of this exercise is taken to its logical conclusion.

This is the only congregation of the 3 important stakeholders i.e. doctors & hospitals, legal professionals, and the policy makers. Eminent doctors, heads of medical associations, hospitals, editors of medical journals, academicians, lawyers, judges, representatives from the government bodies, regulators, and patients’ group are a part of the discussions and deliberations.

NCML comprises of a full day event usually held in Mumbai which is divided into multiple sessions including break-away sessions focusing on specific issues pertaining to a particular medical speciality or group. The suggestions and actions recommended of the Convention are collated and compiled in a white paper which is then shared with the policy makers and the opinion formers in a follow-up event in Delhi. The presence of national media helps in effectively disseminating the requisite information to all concerned. The convention has been conducted virtually during the covid pandemic.

The 'NEED'

India is witnessing a sharp rise in cases of medical negligence in courts along with cases of violence against doctors and hospitals. These indicate a systemic failure and breakdown of trust between doctors and patients. A soft regulatory framework, unrealistically high expectations of patients, and the peculiar socio-economic character of the nation further compound the issue. And this does not augur well for a developing country like India.

Some of the key causes include lack of dialogue between the doctor community, hospitals, legal professionals, and policy makers. Although inappropriate, at times the courts are forced to find solutions to issues that should have been provided either by the policy makers or the medical fraternity.

This makes it imperative for doctors, medical associations, and hospitals to come together to identify and discuss the contentious legal issues relating to medicine and to find practical and legally appropriate solutions. Policy makers and regulators need to be updated about these issues and the changes required in the legal and regulatory framework to resolve the same.

Institute of Medicine & Law

Institute of Medicine & Law (IML) provides education, information, and services in medical laws. IML's information and analysis is real-time, accurate, actionable and is delivered to doctors, hospitals, and lawyers on multiple platforms using the latest in technology.

IML's Knowledge Bank on Medical Laws is comprehensive and continuously updated with the latest developments in medical laws. Today, in India, IML possesses the best resources in terms of professionals, information, and knowledge on medical laws and these are optimally utilised in providing MedLegal solutions.

IML has also been conducting an annual exercise of drafting and adopting a 'SOP on Patients Consent' ( together with major national medical associations like IMA, ASI, FOGSI, API, IOA, IRIA, AIOS, ISA, ISCCM, and CSI among others. This SOP is today accepted as a standard, comprehensive, and legally compliant document on patients consent in India.