• Legal issues regarding doctor consulting patient over telephone or whatsapp

I am a practicing Doctor and lately I’ve been asked for online and telephonic consultation along with prescribing medicine and advising investigations online or by phone, so I want to know all the legal issues surrounding it and also about my rights and responsibilities. 
Hope anyone could help me with that, so that I won’t get in any legal trouble
Asked 4 years ago in Civil Law

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15 Answers

1. Well, without physical verification of the patient, prescribing medicine unless there is urgency is not never allowed and you being a Medical Professional is well-aware of this.

2. However on the basis of diagnostics report you can prescribe medicine which is necessary for curing the ailment.

3. Prescribing medicine on the basis of telephonic conversation is not advisable.

Refer to your MCI Rules and regulations on this.

Devajyoti Barman
Advocate, Kolkata
22515 Answers
407 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0


No you can not prescribe without examining your patients . It would be a malpractice as well as negligence.


Swarupananda Neogi
Advocate, Kolkata
2947 Answers
6 Consultations

4.7 on 5.0

Dear Client,

Online and telephone consultancy dose not barred under the medical council rules except for ailments for which prior medical check up is necessary.

Yogendra Singh Rajawat
Advocate, Jaipur
21481 Answers
31 Consultations

4.4 on 5.0

For many cases a physical examination of the patient may be required 

So excluding the above cases, i do not see any problem if consultation is provided online for minor issues


Yusuf Rampurawala
Advocate, Mumbai
6990 Answers
79 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Sir there is no legal guidelines for tele medical consultation or Online consultation few things which need to be kept in mind is due however, to compliance with all other laws that may be applicable, including the MCI Act, The Code of Ethics and other laws that may be applicable to activities involved in the process, such as the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 that deals with the issuance of prescriptions.


So the normal medicines can be prescribed and wherein you feel physical consultation is required in that case take due care.

Shubham Jhajharia
Advocate, Ahmedabad
25516 Answers
179 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Observing that prescribing medicines to patients without diagnosis amounted to culpable negligence, the Bombay High Court has turned down the anticipatory bail pleas of a doctor couple booked for the death of a woman patient.


do not prescribe medicine on telephone without going through the diagnostic reports 

Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
89022 Answers
6344 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

There is no legal trouble but only without physical diagnosis of patients medicines are prescribed. But for regular patients whose case is already known to you it can be done. You need to first take consent for the same

Prashant Nayak
Advocate, Mumbai
28054 Answers
93 Consultations

4.4 on 5.0

You can do so but you have to be cautious about correct diagnosis and prescription of medicine because if you committed any negligence on your part then you can be prosecuted for the medical negligence and shall be liable to compensate the patient. There is no search bar to advise on telephone or any other electronic medium because in the era of telemedicine some hospitals have been working on the online platform

Shivendra Pratap Singh
Advocate, Lucknow
5127 Answers
78 Consultations

4.9 on 5.0

Without examination doctor can not prescribe It is illegal unless it is a medical emergency.

Mohammed Mujeeb
Advocate, Hyderabad
19032 Answers
32 Consultations

4.5 on 5.0

Dear Sir,

You can give only first aid treatment and medicines which are not so serious in nature.  It is better to record all conversations and other communications to avoid future complications.  The issue of online selling medicines is burning issue before the Supreme Court.  Thus your prescriptions must be very clear after reading symptom of the patient preferably have such correspondences through e-mail.

Netravathi Kalaskar
Advocate, Bengaluru
4952 Answers
27 Consultations

4.8 on 5.0

Ya you can take consultancy by phone or whatsapp.

Whenever you giving the consultancy through whatsapp then it's duty to clear each and every thing to the patient and for your safety use your letter head , seal of your name & designation and use of clear handwriting.

Also take screen shots of your chats and keep them safely for future !!

Thanks and regards !!


Chandra Shekhar
Advocate, New Delhi
18 Answers

Not rated



There is no illegality in online medical consultation. A number of websites are doing this. However such consultation must not be followed up by giving any prescriptions.

Note that you can not give prescription online 



Anilesh Tewari
Advocate, New Delhi
17943 Answers
377 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

According to Indian law a doctor's advice to patients even on telephone – a common practice today – is illegal unless it is a medical emergency.

The healthcare service provider adopting tele-medicine methods of medical practice must ensure that medical consultation, prescriptions, treatment and drugs are dispensed only in accordance with legal provisions and guidelines regulating the medical and healthcare sector in India.

T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
79184 Answers
1611 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

As per my view it may create legal issues , In certain cases physical examination is very much required like stomach daises like Jaundice , or any serous problem in which examination of tong and all. So in simple case it could not create problem. But in certain cases it create lots of legal issues. Ya if opinion on the basic of reports then it can be done. So online consultation is not 100% legal  as per my view.

Sunil Joshi
Advocate, Vadodara
8 Answers

Not rated

It is a grey area and is not absolutely illegal as there is no specific law regarding this but in case if any of the patient suffers due to the treatment given by you without doing any physical examination of the patient is going to cause you a lot of legal trouble and you should be ready to face a lot of litigation if you want to proceed ahead in this matter.

Siddharth Jain
Advocate, New Delhi
6080 Answers
101 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

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