The Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Monday sent a circular to all its doctors requesting them to refrain from advertising “guaranteed treatment” to patients to promote their profession.
The circular comes in the wake of the Maharashtra Medical Council’s (MMC’s) decision to suspend a doctor couple in Colaba for three months for advertising “guaranteed pregnancy” on the website of their clinic.
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The couple, Dr Aniruddha and Dr Anjali Malpani, were also accused of assuring a refund if the in-vitro fertilisation technique failed in four cycles at their facility called the Malpani Infertility Clinic, in Colaba.
Following their advertisements, the Advertising Standards Council of India registered a complaint with MMC requesting action against the doctor couple in 2014. After hearing their case, an executive committee of MMC decided to suspend licence of both doctors for three months until June end.
According to Drugs and Magic Remedies Act, advertisements by doctors are prohibited in any media. The code of ethics laid down by Medical Council of India states that advertisements or promises of “guaranteed treatment” cannot be made by doctors.
The IMA is beginning a series of awareness and sensitisation sessions for about 2.5 lakh doctors across India on ethical practices by doctors.
“Given its serious implications, we have been constantly making an effort to educate all our members on what is allowed and what is not, and ways to safeguard oneself and ensure delivery of a transparent service. There is also an urgent need to educate patients about how not all lives can be saved and how the success of all treatments cannot be guaranteed,” said Dr S S Agarwal, IMA national president.