Post-recession, business schools that produce future managers across the world have introduced business ethics as part of their curriculum. Another field, which battles with issues related to ethics is medicine. With pharmaceutical companies trying out drugs on people and using them as guinea pigs, medicine is one area where ethics is a pressing issue.
In this larger context, one tends to wonder if the Hippocratic Oath taken by medical professionals swearing to practice medicine ethically is enough, or is there a need to re-look at ethics.
“There is a definite need to relook at the issue of ethics for doctors. There should be proper training — especially in ethics, communication skills, patient handling, patience, patient-doctor relationship — and all of this from the undergraduate level itself,” says Rani Kumar, dean, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi.
A look at the rural health centres reveals why this is a pressing need. Kumar elaborates that in villages, there are few doctors in dispensaries and health clinics, fewer amongst them, who go to such areas on their own accord. In these villages, a doctor is required to adopt a family, and look after its complete health requirements while posted at the clinic. It is anybody’s guess how much of it happens in reality as often, weekends find doctors away from where they are posted. Kumar adds, “What is lacking is a sense of commitment and dedication.”