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Code of Medical Ethics

GUJARAT MEDICAL COUNCIL CODE OF MEDICAL ETHICS

1. In taking up Medical Profession you have selected as one which is universally considered as noblest, as its primary object is the alleviation of human suffering irrespective of gain.

2. It is your duty to do best for your patients. You are not bound to treat each and every one who seeks your help unless on other medical practitioner is available in the neighbourhood . You have the right to choose the patient and to lay down the limits of your service. But once you accept the charge it is your responsibility to exercise due care diligence in the diagnosis and treatment, using the best means and opinions available to you. You cannot discontinue treating the patient except for very valid reasons.The discovery that the malady is incurable is not an excuse. Undertaking the care of a patient does not imply that you shall be blamed for not curing him. No blame will be attached if you have employed that skill and professional knowledge which your other colleagues with a like qualification do in the community. Naturally more is expected of one who claims to be a specialist.

3. Your demenour towards the patient should be courteous, sympethetic friendly and helpful.

4. While keeping the interst of your patient uppermost, you are not permitted to perform illegal operation or execute an illegal document or issue a false certificate.

5. Knowledge of a patient gained in the course of examination and treatment is privileged and should not be disclosed without the consent of the patient or an order from a presiding judge in a Court of Law.

6. To other members of profession you owe a duty as a colleague.You should never do anything which you would not like them to do to you. Do not do or say anything that may make the position of your colleague who has been perviously treating the patient auckward.

7. Every Registered Medical Practioner is expeted by the concil to attend in emergencies.

WORNING NOTICE

The Gujarat Medical Council desires to bring to the notice of Medical Practitioners whose names are entered in their Register that if after due enquiry the Council finds them guilty of the following and similar unethical practices they are liable to be warned or have their names erased from their Register. The Council is in no way precluded form considering and dealing with any form of unethical practice which may be brought before them although it may not appear to come within the scope of precise wording of any of the categories mentioned below :-

PART I

Note-Any-one found guilty of offences in this Part will be liable to have his name erased from the Register without any further warning.

1. Immorality involving abuse of professinal relatinship.

2. Conviction by a Court of Law for an offence involving moral tupitude.

3. Issuing in connection with various Government and Municipal Acts, sick benefit, insurance and kindred societies, passport, matter relating to armed forces, attendance in court of Justice in the public services or in ordinary employment a certificate, notification or report which is untrue misleading or improper.

Note 1-- The record cases where in the practitioner has an occasion to issue a medical certificate should be preserved by the practioner for a period of one year from the date of issue of such certificate.

Note 2--A practitioner who has treated the deceased in his last illness is expected to give a death certificate mentioning the cause of death. The Practitioner is entitled to charge a reasonable fee for such certificate except when the certificate is required for purpose of registering the death by Municipal or Local authorites. The practitioner is not bound to get his signature on such a certificate attested.

4. Withholding from the Heath Authorities information of the Notificable Diseases.

5. Performing or enabling an unqualified person to perform an abortion or any illegal operation for which there is no medical surgical or psychological indication.

6. Performing or enabling an unqualified person to attend treat or perform operations on patient is respect of matters requiring professional discreation or skill or to issue certificates.

7. Contravening the provisions of the Drugs Act and Regulations made under it.

8. Selling scheduled poisions to the public under cover of his own qualifications except his patients.

9. Disclosing the secrets of a patient that have been learnt in the exercise of his profession. Those may be disclosed only in court of law under orders from the Presiding Judge.

10. Soliciting private practice either by spliting fees or paying commissions to those who bring patients to him or by advertising by means of laudatory or other notices in the press or by playcards or by handbills.

11. Receiving commisions from surgeons consultants or from anyone to whom patients are referred to be it a medical practitioner a manufacturer or of a trader in drugs or appliances or a Chemist or a dentist or an oculist.

12. Advertising himself directly or indirectly such as though price lists or publicity materials or manfactures or traders with which he may be connected in any capacity though it will be permissible for him to publish his name in connection with the prospectus or direcors or technical experts' reports.

12 A "A physician should not hold personal ownership in patients for any drug, apparatus, instruments or appliance used in Medicine and Surgery."

PART II

13. Associating in professional matters with person who are neither registered nor enlisted or exempted from registration under the Medical Acts in force or who have been struck off the repective Register or lists for unethical practices.

14. Joining the teaching staff and/or participation in teaching, examinations or grant of certifticates in any professional subject in an institution which is not recognised for teaching Medicine by the State Government nor is not affiliated to a recognised Licencing Body or a Statutory University.

This section does not apply so as to restrict the teaching of pre-medical subjects such as Anatomy and Physiology by registered Medical Practitioners in non-medical but recognised teaching institutions.

15. Keeping an open shop for the sale of medicines at the place of his practice.

16. Publishing on his own in the lay press, reports of cases treated or operated on by him or sanctioning the publication in the lay or medical press of any certifticates for drugs,foods,appliances,sanatoria used by him or of any laudatory statement about himself.

When a doctor opens his practice or changes his office or has resumed his prectice after long intervals the notice regarding his address and telephone number should not appar more than twice and not in more than two papers.

17. It shall be open for him to write to the lay press under his own name on matters of public health interest and general articles which will promote hygienic living or deliver public lectures with the same purpose. It shall be open to medical associations, hospitals and other bodies to publish the name of the lecturer and his subiect in the non-medical press.

18. Attending on his own a patient who has been seen by him before in the capacitty of a consultants during the same illness.

19. Removing the patient in the absence of the attending physician to a hospital or nursing home or trasferring him to the care of his assistants by a consulting practioner.

20. Examining and reporting on employees at the instruction of the employee without previously intimating the regular medical attendant of the employee of his commission and giving him the option of being present.

21. Using an unusually large sign board and writing on it anything else other than his name qualifications obtained from a university or a statuory body, titles conferred by Government and the name of a speciality he practices.The same should be the contents of his prescription paper, which may in addition contian address and telephone numbers. Appointment held now or before should not be mentioned either on the board or prescription paper.

22. Refusing to attend on a patient who has been under his care unless :-

(1) he finds that the patient and his relatives are un-co-operative; or

(2) his fees are not paid, or

(3) another practitioner is consulted without his knowledge.

Note:- The foregoing do not apply so as to restrict the proper training and instructions of bona fide students or the legitimate employment of dressers, indiwives, dispensers, surgery attendets and skilled mechanics under the immediate personal supervision of a registered medical practitioner.

SUGGESTIONS

Do not undertake to treat a patient who you know is being trated by another Physician.

Do not talk disparagingly of your colleague who attended the case before you or with you at consultation. Most of the suits for malpractices arise out of such remarks. Always respect opinions and differences of opinions.

2. In case of emergencies if the regular medical attendant of the patient is not avilable it is your duty to attend such a call atleast for the first time. You may deny to do so in case of your own illness preventing you from doing so.

3. You should strive to maintain your medical knowledge at a high level by regular reading by attending refresher courses whenever available and by attending and taking an active interest in the meetings of your local medical society and Conferences. Add your knowledge and experience to the common pool and thus contribute to the advancement of medicine.

4. Never forget that doctor by virtue of his profession is given a high place in society. Study and assist in solving the civic and political problems of your Society but not by neglecting your patients and profession. Do nothing to forfeit the esteem and the confidence of your fellowmen In though, word and deed be a gentlemen.

5. In serious illness, in doubtful conditions, in operations of a multilating or destructive nature upon an unborn child, in operations which may vitally affect the intellectual or generative function of the patient always ask for a consultation.

6. At the consulation there should be a free exchange of opinion.These discussions should be held without the presence of the patient or his relative. An agreed statement or otherwise should be communicated to them by the attending physician.

7. Before performing an operation obtain in writing the consent from the husband or wife, parent or guardian in the case of a minor or the patient himself as the case may be. In an operation which may result in sterility the consent of both husband and wife in needed.

8. In practising your profession use methods of fair competition. It is unethical to advertise yourself or solicit practice in anyway.

9. Do not undertake more work than you can conveniently manage. If you are running a dispensary practice avoid overcrowding by not calling patients twice or every day unless, it is essntial to do so. To many medicines may be given for three days. Charge your fees every time you examine the patient. If you agree to attend a woman in her confinement you must do so.Where it is impossible to do so due to valid reason it is your duty to provide alternative arrangement.

10. Though your fees may vary according to the means of your patients do not attend patients free of charge unless they are poor. There are hospitals for poors.

11. If your patients need investigation and technical assistance which is beyond you and beyond the limits of the purse of patients do not delay in referring him to a public institution.

12. Do not claim to be a specilist unless you have put in a good few year of study and experience or have a special qualification in that branch once you say you are one do not undertake word outside your speciality even for your friends. Live and let live.

13. If you are running an institution for a perticular purpose such as a mental home, a sanatorium, a house for cripples, blinds etc. You may advertise it in the lay and medical press.The advertisement should not contain anything more than the following information :-

Name of the institution, the address and the apporch, the types of patients admitted, facilities offered and the residential fees. The name of the superintendent may appear in the Medical Press. It is not advertisement to celebrate the annual function of your institution and invite your friends to it.

14. While it is scientific to offer a good prognosis, if one`s findings lead to it, it is unwise to guarantee a cure.

15. When issuing a medical certificate always enter the identification marks of the patient and keep a copy of the certificate.

16. Do not publish photographs or case reports of your patient in any medical or other journal in a manner by which their indently could be made out without their permission. Should the identity be not disclosed his consent is not needed.

17. If you are running a nursing home and if you employ assistant to help you, the untimate responsibility rests on you.

18. Do not accept appointments, whether honorary or salaried in institution where the practice is to "splite fees" for visits and injunction between the practioner and the insititution.

19. Medical practitioners seeking service abroad are advised in their own interest to consult the Government of India before they enter into any contract for service abroad with the agents of a foreign Government.

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