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Maimed Conscience and Maimed Beggars (Medical Ethics in India) – Part

sed the corrupt practice of some of the Indian doctors who are short on ethics and long on commerce. Another television channel (Sahara) not too long ago exposed the nexus of the commerce in the kidney donations and transplants in Punjab. Commerce of organs be it kidney or liver and the nexus between doctors, the middle man and sometimes the members of authorization committee of the Government (as in Amritsar case) has been a regular feature of news in India. Like the current case it causes a furor for a short time and the nauseating stink in the community settles with time till something else crops up.

Kickbacks for investigations to the doctors by laboratories and hospitals and the female feticide are other examples of corrupt practices that are rampant in the Indian medical profession.

In the last decade we have also seen how the power of advertising for services by the medical professional and hospitals (including in-flight magazines, hoardings and television) has been used effectively to drive and lure the gullible middle class Indian patient. The current boom in medical tourism may even make all this acceptable to the Governement. The current fashion is apparently doctors and hospitals actually paying huge amounts of money to the journalists and employing PR agencies to be written about regularly in the media.

The Medical Council of India and the State Medical Council - the apex bodies that decides the fate of doctors who are indulging in such forms of corrupt practices and bringing down the bastions of medical ethics in India; seldom react fast enough and the number of cases of doctors whose license is quashed are but few.

It is one thing for the Council members to give an immediate statement to the press that is in line with the public sympathy and appear on the television media but another to fully investigate the case and impart justice. In most of the instances the doctors are let off with a warning by the
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