Kerala Doctor advertises Eat Sugar Avoid Medicine, gets Suspended
Thiruvananthapuram: Taking strict action against an MBBS doctor for violating the Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations, 2002; the Travancore Cochin Council of Modern Medicine (Kerala Medical Council) has removed the name of the erring medical professional from the state medical register for a period of three months. The doctor had apparently recommended sweets to diabetic patients under an unethical advertisement titled-"Eat Sugar Avoid Medicine".
The medical council held the doctor guilty on two counts including publishing of unethical advertisement as well as unscientific medical practice without scientific evidence for his method of treatment for diabetes.
In its order dated February 17th 2020, the council noted that the doctor had violated the rules despite the medical council's earlier warning to him.
The order signed by TCMC Registrar Dr A Muhammad Hussain clearly stated that the doctor had made unethical advertisement again in Newspapers "Eat Sugar Avoid Medicine" to all diabetic patient despite he was strictly warned by the Council in the past.
"Accordingly, notice was issued to him under Rule 64 of the Travancore-Cochin Medical Practitioners Rule 1956 to show cause why disciplinary action including removal of name from the register should not be taken since he has repeated the above-said act. Dr.M.VPrasad has submitted explanation to the Show Cause Notice and appeared before the Council with his Counsel," the order read.
The Ethics Committee of the Council noted that the said act of the doctor amounts to Professional misconduct as per regulation (6.1.1,6.1.2,6.8.1(e) of the Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct Etiquette and Ethics) Regulation, 2002.
Citing his stance, the doctor had contended that the advertisement was made by some other person without his knowledge and he already directed them to stop such advertisements and has stated that he has not violated any of the provisions of the code of Ethics. Since the explanation was not found satisfactory by authorities, the Ethics Committee decided to recommend the Council for taking disciplinary action of removal of the name of doctor from the register for three months.
The Council carefully and independently examined the whole matter involved in the complaint, the written defence statement and oral submission made by delinquent doctor along with the recommendation of Ethics Committee and found that there is clear violation of regulation 6.1.1 and 6.8.1 (c) of Indian Medical Council (Professional conduct and etiquette and Ethics) Regulation 2002 that a physician is prohibited from making use of his name as subject any form or manner of advertising or publicity through any mode either alone or in conjunction with others which is of such character as to invite attention to him or to his professional position, skill, qualification, appointments, association affiliation and honours and/or of such character as would ordinarily result in his self-aggrandisement and medical research without due permission from competent authority is unethical.
In view of the aforesaid regulations, the council took stringent action against the erring doctor. The order stated,
The Council in its meeting held on 10-01-2020 endorses the views of the Ethics Committee that Dr M. V.Prasad is guilty of the above misconduct and for the proved charges of unethical advertisement and also unethical unscientific medical practice without scientific evidence for his method of treatment. Therefore Council unanimously decided to impose the punishment of removing his name from the TCMC Medical Register for a period of three months from the date of receipt of this order. This removal will automatically stand cancelled when the date of completion of three months of removal subject to the condition that no other cases exist against to him for the violation of any other laws. During the period of removal from the register he is not eligible to practice medicine, consult patients, prescribe medicines and any other kind of activities done by a doctor.