Ethics of doctors dating patients
One of the tenets of the Hippocratic oath states that it is a physician’s duty to teach his students all he knows, freely and without thought for remuneration.
At an undergraduate level, the physician, (and I use this term in the broad sense which encompasses doctors in all disciplines of medicine), is teaching his future colleagues.
That they are underpaid and live in relatively modest conditions as compared to those of their colleagues in private practice, does nothing to improve their psyche.
The cream of the medical profession is often enticed into making their way onto foreign shores, or onto the more lucrative avenue of private practice.
Over the four-and-a- half-year span of medical training, students are extensively grilled on how to diagnose diseases and treat patients.
The rules of conduct, which should guide his behaviour when interacting with his own professional colleagues, is hardly ever touched upon in the medical curriculum.
This essay is an attempt at starting a discussion on the ethics of relationships between doctors.More pertinently, throughout his career, he has to regularly interact with colleagues in his speciality and those in different branches of medicine.The forms of professional relationship between two doctors may thus be summarised as follows: It is necessary to clear a general misconception that medicine and ethics are two independent and divergent subjects, or that ethics is merely an adjunct to medical activity.Some of these controversial areas will be dealt with individually, with frequent references to the Indian code of medical ethics.Situations as they exist today will be touched upon and attempts to achieve the ideal will be suggested.
The two are irrevocably harnessed together, and this marriage has been recognised since before the days of Caraka, Susruta and Hippocrates.