What are the guidelines of medical ethics for doctors amended by the Indian Medical Council Act
This is a field which separates a legal obligation from a moral obligation and the relationships expect the confidence of the fiduciary duty of the doctor to his patient. The reasons underlying the need for confidentiality are complimentary. First, if those who are sick do not trust doctors to maintain the information they disclose in confidence, they will not approach for treatment. It is particularly important in case of an infectious disease like infection with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). The doctor must also believe that the patients have given the whole history of their disease, otherwise, risks may arise, as the doctor may reach a wrong diagnosis and prescribe a wrong treatment.9 The legal duty is not absolute and is subject to modification. On analysis of the cases which help to shape and delimit the law in this area shows the importance of the patient’s disclosure of full information of the patients in the public interest. The individual’s private interest is given comparatively little prominence.
Here are the amended law issues by Indian medical council specifying guideline for practicing an ethical medical practice.
In exercise of the powers conferred under section 20A read with section 33(m) of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 (102 of 1956), the Medical Council of India, with the previous approval of the Central Government, hereby makes the following regulations relating to the Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics for registered medical practitioners, namely:- –
Short Title and Commencement:
These Regulations may be called the Indian Medical Council (Professional conduct, Etiquette, and Ethics) Regulations, 2002.
They shall come into force on the date of their publication in the Official Gazette.
- CODE OF MEDICAL ETHICS
Each applicant, at the time of making an application for registration under the provisions of the Act, shall be provided a copy of the declaration and shall submit a duly signed Declaration as provided in Appendix 1. The applicant shall also certify that he/she had read and agreed to abide by the same.
1. Duties and responsibilities of the Physician in general:
1.1 Character of Physician (Doctors with qualification of MBBS or MBBS with post graduate degree/ diploma or with equivalent qualification in any medical discipline):
1.1.1 A physician shall uphold the dignity and honor of his profession.
1.1.2 The prime object of the medical profession is to render service to humanity; reward or financial gain is a subordinate consideration. Whoever chooses his profession, assumes the obligation to conduct himself in accordance with its ideals. A physician should be an upright man, instructed in the art of healings. He shall keep himself pure in character and be diligent in caring for the sick; he should be modest, sober, patient, prompt in discharging his duty without anxiety; conducting himself with propriety in his profession and in all the actions of his life.
1.1.3 No person other than a doctor having a qualification recognized by Medical Council of India and registered with Medical Council of India/State Medical Council (s) is allowed to practice a Modern system of Medicine or Surgery. A person obtaining a qualification in any other system of Medicine is not allowed to practice a Modern system of Medicine in any form.
Maintaining good medical practice:
1.2.1 The Principal objective of the medical profession is to render service to humanity with full respect for the dignity of profession and man. Physicians should merit the confidence of patients entrusted to their care, rendering to each a full measure of service and devotion. Physicians should try continuously to improve medical knowledge and skills and should make available to their patients and colleagues the benefits of their professional attainments. The physician should practice methods of healing founded on a scientific basis and should not associate professionally with anyone who violates this principle. The honored ideals of the medical profession imply that the responsibilities of the physician extend not only to individuals but also to society.
1.2.2 Membership in Medical Society: For the advancement of his profession, a physician should affiliate with associations and societies of allopathic medical professions and involve actively in the functioning of such bodies.
1.2.3 A Physician should participate in professional meetings as part of Continuing Medical Education programmes, for at least 30 hours every five years, organized by reputed professional academic bodies or any other authorized organizations. The compliance of this requirement shall be informed regularly to Medical Council of India or the State Medical Councils as the case may be.
1.3 Maintenance of medical records:
1.3.1 Every physician shall maintain the medical records pertaining to his / her indoor patients for a period of 3 years from the date of commencement of the treatment in a standard proforma laid down by the Medical Council of India and attached as Appendix 3.
1.3.2. If any request is made for medical records either by the patients / authorized attendant or legal authorities involved, the same may be duly acknowledged and documents shall be issued within the period of 72 hours.
1.3.3 A Registered medical practitioner shall maintain a Register of Medical Certificates giving full details of certificates issued. When issuing a medical certificate he/she shall always enter the identification marks of the patient and keep a copy of the certificate. He / She shall not omit to record the signature and/or thumb mark, address and at least one identification mark of the patient on the medical certificates or report. The medical certificate shall be prepared as in Appendix 2.
1.3.4 Efforts shall be made to computerize medical records for quick retrieval.
1.4 Display of registration numbers:
1.4.1 Every physician shall display the registration number accorded to him by the State Medical Council / Medical Council of India in his clinic and in all his prescriptions, certificates, money receipts given to his patients.
1.4.2 Physicians shall display as a suffix to their names only recognized medical degrees or such certificates/diplomas and memberships/honors which confer professional knowledge or recognizes any exemplary qualification/achievements.
1.5 Use of Generic names of drugs:
Every physician should, as far as possible, prescribe drugs with generic names and he/she shall ensure that there are a rational prescription and use of drugs.
1.6 Highest Quality Assurance in patient care:
Every physician should aid in safeguarding the profession against admission to it of those who are deficient in moral character or education. The physician shall not employ in connection with his professional practice any attendant who is neither registered nor enlisted under the Medical Acts in force and shall not permit such persons to attend, treat or perform operations upon patients wherever professional discretion or skill is required.
1.7 Exposure to Unethical Conduct:
A Physician should expose, without fear or favor, incompetent or corrupt, dishonest or unethical conduct on the part of members of the profession
1.8 Payment for Professional Services:
The physician, engaged in the practice of medicine shall give priority to the interests of patients. The personal financial interests of a physician should not conflict with the medical interests of patients. A physician should announce his fees before rendering service and not after the operation or treatment is underway. Remuneration received for such services should be in the form and amount specifically announced to the patient at the time the service is rendered. It is unethical to enter into a contract of “no cure no payment”. Physician rendering service on behalf of the state shall refrain from anticipating or accepting any consideration.
1.9 Evasion of Legal Restrictions:
The physician shall observe the laws of the country in regulating the practice of medicine and shall also not assist others to evade such laws. He should be cooperative in the observance and enforcement of sanitary laws and regulations in the interest of public health. A physician should observe the provisions of the State Acts like Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940; Pharmacy Act, 1948; Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985; Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971; Transplantation of Human Organ Act, 1994; Mental Health Act, 1987; Environmental Protection Act, 1986; Prenatal Sex Determination Test Act, 1994; Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisement) Act, 1954; Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities and Full Participation) Act, 1995 and Bio-Medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998 and such other Acts, Rules, Regulations made by the Central/State Governments or local Administrative Bodies or any other relevant Act relating to the protection and promotion of public health.
October 20, 2018