National Medical Commission (Professional Conduct) Regulations, 2022 : Give dignity & fairness to medical professionals
National Medical Commission Registered Medical Practitioner (Professional Conduct) Regulations, 2022 will be an act as soon as the hurdles are cleared. The question in the minds of doctors still persists, Will medical professionals get dignity & fairness? It is vital that the public realizes the limitations of medical science, and the immense pressure that doctors operate under. Remember Medicine is a science of uncertainty and an art of probability. Even with the best possible education and training, no doctor can be a miracle worker. Despite the best intentions and efforts of doctors, and with all our scientific and technological advancements, favorable outcomes cannot be guaranteed. Such is the very nature of things.
Damaging a hospital property, violent act against a doctor, media trials, arrests, public outrage and doctor committing suicide (as in a recent case in Dausa Rajasthan) are different types of knee jerk reactions. These are faced by some professionals but they have an unforgettable impact on the overall medical fraternity. I quote (2005 case titled Jacob Mathew vs State of Punjab) the Hon/ble Supreme Court “A medical practitioner faced with an emergency ordinarily tries his best to redeem the patient out of his suffering. He does not gain anything by acting with negligence or by omitting to do an act. Obviously, therefore, it will be for the complainant to clearly make out a case of negligence before a medical practitioner is charged with or proceeded against criminally. A surgeon with shaky hands under fear of legal action cannot perform a successful operation.
The answer to my question – Will medical professionals get dignity & fairness – should have been answered in the NMC act. The Central NMC act must include a complete chapter as an enacted/ amendment law for Protection of Medical Service Persons and Medical Service Institutions (Prevention of Violence and Damage of Loss of Property) Act. Those who dare to indulge in the act of damage or a mental / physical abuse must be made to pay heavily for it and under no circumstances should be allowed to escape unpunished! Only then will the fear of punishment deter potential offenders from letting loose violence of the worst kind against doctors. Indian scriptures have rightly said, ”भय बिन होवे न प्रीत”।
Friends, there is no denial that medical professionals have a high degree of respect in society, owing to the nature and importance of their work, as also the dedication and sacrifice which the profession demands. A sense of nobleness is attributed to this profession. This in turn must be shown in public behavior also, so that your savior does feel at every moment that his very dignity, confidence and safety are at stake. On one hand this feeling of respect & dignity should not get lost in our day to day practice, it is also a necessary that National Medical Commission (Professional Conduct) Regulations, 2022 should include strict Do & Don’ts while taking treatment and looking for good results from their very trusted friend – a Doctor!!
By Dr Shyam Sundar Agrawal