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Medicine and the Law$
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K. Kannan

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198082880

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198082880.001.0001

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Medical Ethics

Medical Ethics

Chapter:
(p.56) 2 Medical Ethics
Source:
Medicine and the Law
Author(s):

K. Kannan

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198082880.003.0003

The ethical concerns of medical practice fall largely under the quartet: autonomy, beneficence, non-malfeasance, and fairness or justice. Driven to the brink by the Nazi experiments on specious pleas of medical research, the MCI regulations contain a fairly large set of codes that have adopted universal standards and are best explained through case laws not merely of India but also of foreign countries. Confidentiality is a key precept of medical practice but it is more observed in the breach in the Indian cultural set up, where a patient adopts a ‘doctor-knows-all’ attitude, and where eliciting patient history in privacy is hardly ever observed in government hospitals. Conflict of interest by a doctor prescribing drugs that are meant to be purchased from pharmacies in which the doctor has a proprietary interest is a serious issue of public debate outside India but is seldom perceived as important in India. Human rights violations seen through the context of patient autonomy is again a major casualty in Indian clinical practice.

Keywords:   medical ethics, precepts of medical practice, clinical establishment, MCI regulations, confidentiality, unethical acts, human rights, euthanasia, misconduct, research on human subjects

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