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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 661

Medical Ethics in Ayurveda

Chief Radiation Oncology, Department of Radiation Oncology,Dr. Balabhai Nanavati Hospital, Mumbai - 400 056, India

Date of Web Publication29-Jan-2013

Correspondence Address:
Nagraj G Huilgol
Chief Radiation Oncology, Department of Radiation Oncology,Dr. Balabhai Nanavati Hospital, Mumbai - 400 056
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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How to cite this article:
Huilgol NG. Medical Ethics in Ayurveda. J Can Res Ther 2012;8:661

How to cite this URL:
Huilgol NG. Medical Ethics in Ayurveda. J Can Res Ther [serial online] 2012 [cited 2022 Jan 19];8:661. Available from: https://www.cancerjournal.net/text.asp?2012/8/4/661/106597

Editors: P. V. Tewari
Publisher: Chaukhamba Visvabharati,Oriental Publisher and Distributors
K. 37/109, Gopal Mandir Lane, Varanasi – 221 001, India.
E-mail: [email protected]
@ Chaukhamba Visvabharati, Varanasi
First Edition: Year 2012
ISBN: 978-93-81301-18-0

Ethical issues related to healthcare are rarely discussed even less published as compendiums in India. The available literature is indeed sparse. Ayurvedic medicine is a repository of ancient medicine which finds resonance even today. It was in the past elevated to the status of the Vedas. The issues of ethics, closely compared to the concept of 'Dharma' are inlaid in Ayurvedic treatises. Dr. Tewari has teased them out and compiled this book. The book documents various issues like social attics, making of a doctor, ethical responsibilities of the doctor, conduct in general and while treating.

The book has original sources in Sanskrit with English translation and explanation. Translations are crisp and easy to read. One wishes that the author had applied these principles to contemporary problems to emphasize the relevance of principles of ethics as enunciated in Ayurveda.

Following are some excerpts from the book: The concern for the poor and a sense of distributive justice is evident in the following injunction.
"Treatment given as charity is just like giving food to hungry and water to thirsty ; those who perform all these three (giving food, treatment and water) go to heaven even without performing Yajna. In the same context another guidelines goes or getting burnt in fire then taking money a other usable a poor or miser patient.' This however did not preclude the good physician to earn, but earn ethically. "The physician should constantly observe the condition of the disorders and prescribe treatment according : with this method the patient is cured and the physician obtains beneficial four (Virtue, wealth, enjoyment and eternal emancipation ."

Even more interesting edicts are:

  1. Should never deprive sense organs of their object, however, overuse is prohibited.
  2. Should never do any act determined to trivarga i.e. virtue, wealth, happiness.
The following guidelines regarding decision-making in the days of evidence-based medicine indeed call for reflection. "The wise physician should not go blindly by the saying of sages even if those are said to be conclusive. He should use his own rational thinking as condition may arise according to place, time and strength in which non-prescribed measure becomes applicable and act by thinking with his intellect. Success without reasoning is just chance.

The book ends with the Hippocratic oath, current code of medical ethics both by Allopathic . These chapters help to juxtapose the contemporary with the past.

The book is highly recommended. I am sure the reader will be provoked to look back and pursue the study of ethics, if I may say Indian ethics.


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