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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 45-52

Knowledge, attitude, and practice of advocates regarding dental jurisprudence in Chennai: A cross-sectional study

Department of Public Health Dentistry, Ragas Dental College and Hospital, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
B Brinda
Department of Public Health Dentistry, Ragas Dental College and Hospital, 2/102, East Coast Road, Uthandi, Chennai - 600 119, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jeed.jeed_7_15

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Background: With the advent of Consumer Protection Act in 1986, awareness among the public on their consumer rights has increased. Health professionals can be litigated for medical negligence under the Consumer Protection Act. This had led to an increase in medicolegal issues in the recent past. The advocates (Doctors of Law) play a vital role in solving these issues and delivering justice to the victims. Hence, a sound knowledge on medical and dental jurisprudence is mandatory for these legal professionals. Aim: The aim of this study is to assess the knowledge, attitude, and practice regarding dental jurisprudence among the advocates practising in Chennai, India. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 180 advocates belonging to three groups each with sixty advocates namely: Group I (advocates completed under graduation in law), Group II (advocates specialized in Criminology), and Group III (advocates specialized in other fields of law). A 26 item questionnaire was used for the study. Based on the responses given, the knowledge score was calculated with one point assigned for each correct response. The knowledge score of the three groups was compared between the three groups statistically. Results: The mean KAP score of Group I was 6.8 ± 2.1, Group II was 9.0 ± 2.1, Group III was 6.8 ± 2.4, and this difference was statistically highly significant (P = 0.001 and F = 16.007). Nearly 71% of the advocates handle medicolegal cases issues of which issues related to unethical practice (31%) was very frequent. 92% of them felt the coverage of dental jurisprudence in their study curriculum was not adequate and they required extra reading to handle such cases. Conclusion: The present study concludes that almost all the advocates who participated in the study had inadequate knowledge in medical and dental jurisprudence, including those specialized in criminology, who fared better than the other groups.

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