This paper provides an overview of medical negligence and its consequences in Bangladesh. There is no special law relating to Medical negligence. However, various general law has dealt with the issue of medical negligence and its consequences in Bangladesh.  

Medical negligence

An act or omission (failure to act) by a medical professional that deviates from the accepted medical standard of care which caused an injury or death.

Medical negligence governed by Constitution of Bangladesh

Medical negligence is a grave violation of right to life as per Article 32 of Bangladesh Constitution. The right to life is a basic and fundamental human right and our national instruments have provided several provisions to guarantee right to life in their substantive text. In national context, the Constitution of Bangladesh has declared ‘right to life’. Therefore, a medical negligence that results in harm to life is therefore contrary to a person’s constitutional right.

Bolam test

What amounts to a rash or negligent act depends on the facts of the case. Therefore, whether a certain act amounts to a rash or negligent act depends upon various factors. Primarily, one of the factors that will be taken into account is the skills of the medical practitioner.

McNair J, in the Bolam case set out the test for determining the standard of care owed by medical professionals to their patients (sometimes referred to as the ‘Bolam test’). The professional will not be in breach of their duty of care if they acted in a manner which was in accordance with practices accepted as proper by a responsible body of other medical professionals with expertise in that particular area. If this is established, it does not matter that there are others with expertise who would disagree with the practice.

Causing death by negligence

Section 304A of the Penal Code 1860 which states that whoever causes the death of any person by doing any rash or negligent act not amounting to culpable homicide shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both.

Medical negligence causing miscarriage

As per Section 314 of the Penal Code 1860, whoever with intent to cause the miscarriage of a woman with child, does any act which causes the death of such woman, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 10 years and fine.

Act done with intent to prevent child being born alive or to cause it to die after birth

Whoever before the birth of any child does any act with the intention of thereby preventing that child from being born alive or causing it to die after its birth, and does by such act prevent that child from being born alive, or causes it to die after its birth, shall, if such act be not caused in good faith for the purpose of saving the life of the mother, be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, or with fine, or with both.

Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt

Whoever, except in the case provided for by section 334, voluntarily causes hurt, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine which may extend to one thousand taka, or with both.

Death due to non-availability of oxygen cylinder

In case of non-availability of oxygen cylinder either because of the hospital having failed to keep available a gas cylinder or because of the gas cylinder being found empty then the hospital may be liable under Section 304A of the Penal Code 1860

Act endangering life or personal safety to others

Whoever does any act so rashly or negligently as to endanger human life or the personal safety of others, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three months, or with fine which may extend to two hundred and fifty taka, or with both.

Causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others

Whoever causes hurt to any person by doing any act so rashly or negligently as to endanger human life, or the personal safety of others shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to five hundred taka, or with both.

Causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others

Whoever causes grievous hurt to any person by doing any act so rashly or negligently as to endanger human life, or the personal safety of others, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extent to two years, or with fine which may extend to 120[ five thousand taka], or with both.

Medical Negligence practice at CLP

The Barristers, Advocates, and lawyers at CLP in Gulshan, Dhaka, Bangladesh are highly experienced at assisting clients in dealing with medical negligence and related offences or civil wrongs. For queries or legal assistance, please reach us at:

E-mail: info@counselslaw.com
Phone: +8801700920980 | +8801947470606
Address: House 39, Road 126 (3rd Floor) Islam Mansion, Gulshan 1, Dhaka.