MCI to form working group for medical ethics

Doctors say pharmaceutical industry should come under the purview of regulations for ethical practice by doctors

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Sonal Matharu | July 1, 2010



Pharmaceutical industry cannot be left out when talking of medical ethics for doctors and there is a need to involve all stakeholders to bring reforms in the health sector, Medical Council of India governing body chairman Dr S K Sarin said on the occasion of Doctor’s Day on Thursday here at a conference organised on medical ethics regulation by Batra Hospital and HEAL Foundation, a non-profit organisation.

Sarin added that a broad outline on medical ethics has been formed by a MCI working group to look into the complaints against doctors accepting favours from pharmaceutical companies and to revise the guidelines which were formed by the MCI in December before it dissolved.

Questions were raised on the efficacy of the medical ethics regulation which was released in December by the then MCI president Ketan Desai, as not one doctor has been penalized under it since it has come into force.

Minister of state for health, Dinesh Trivedi, who sent a recorded message at the conference, said that ethics is something that is up to an individual to define and it cannot be enforced by law. “Ethics cannot be measured in laboratories. It is something that gives an individual satisfaction. No law can be legislated through parliament which can produce results. Everything cannot be left to the government,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sudhir Mishra, Supreme Court lawyer who was also present at the event said that the MCI has no direct powers over the pharmaceutical industry and the health ministry should take an initiative to regulate it.

Delhi Medical Council’s board member Dr Ashok Seth said that if specific guidelines are laid for ethical practice, self-governance will come in and the society will benefit. Adding to Dr Seth’s comment, Dr Sanjay Anant Gupte, medical legal expert said that the guidelines should focus on patient safety and clinical practice.
 

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