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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 70  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 845--848

Medicolegal Priorities for a Neurosurgeon/Neurologist in the COVID Era

Department of Neurosurgery, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Trivandrum, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
George C Vilanilam
Department of Neurosurgery, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Trivandrum - 695 011, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0028-3886.349678

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Vulnerable moments, panic, and uncertainties are the hallmarks of pandemic outbreaks. Medicolegal challenges add further injury to the public health chaos. Although containing the pandemic is of prime concern, medicolegal and ethical uncertainties further complicate ideal standards of medical care. Constraints in the provision of medical care, resource limitations, infectivity risks, burgeoning costs, and pandemic control laws, create extremely precarious medicolegal situations. Ethics and medical negligence laws may, at times, be trampled upon by the overwhelming urgencies of the pandemic. Hence, we attempt to review basic ethical and medicolegal principles that are put to test by pandemic urgencies. We aim to study these vulnerable medicolegal moments in neurosurgeons'/neurologists' clinical and research practices during the COVID-19 times from our own practice and contemporary literature on COVID practices, medicolegal sciences, and pandemic healthcare directives. We also review supportive measures and safeguards to brace these vulnerable moments effectively. We compile medicolegally sound and ideal practice parameters, including the basic principles for a restructured informed surgical consent ensuring a medicolegally and ethically sound practice. Several ethical and medicolegal exigencies are part of medical practice during a pandemic. Special care should be taken to avoid violations of medicolegal and ethical proprieties during the urgencies of medical care and research. Restructuring of contracts like the informed consent would also count as an ideal practice modification in a pandemic.


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