The Ethical Doctor: Individuals are rarely wrong, systems often are!!


By Ekta Srivastava

This book as writer says, is a part of the human journey where we intermittently pause and take stock of the situation and discuss ways to make things better.

When declining values and corrupt practices are eating the heart of Indian society and its institutions, doctors too subscribe for the same value system. Though, this book concentrates on doctors and delivery of health care in India, there are other functionaries in society- politicians, civil servants, lawyers, businessmen, teachers, and citizens at large- who need to similarly evaluate themselves.

“In November 2014, eleven women died at a sterilization camp in Chhattisgarh. In June 2016, a seventy-five-year-old man was left to die because he could not afford a bribe of Rs 50 at a government hospital in Kolkata. That same month, a gang that duped women into selling their eggs for surrogacy was busted in Pune.”

Healthcare really have something which has set this profession apart in the society, As said the writer of ‘The Ethical Doctor’, Dr Kamal Mahawar, “Others in the society do equally, if not more important jobs, but it is the doctor whom human societies expect the most from and shower with huge respect in return.” And here is why, doctor falling short of experience is always on news.

Our author, Dr Kamal Mahawar is a practicing medical doctor who has had the opportunity of reflecting on a range of ethical and systematic issues that plague health care in India. He writes regularly on subjects pertaining to Indian health care in India Medical Times.

Dr Mahawar, in his new release, ‘The Ethical Doctor’ has intensely examines the roles of the government and the judiciary in policy-making in medicine and explores how the Indian Medical Association’s code of ethics is out of sync with modern times. Analyzing the connections between power and knowledge, and exposing the dangerous ways in which they play out in medicine, the book asks an all-important question: is it possible to be an ethical doctor today?

‘An Ethical Doctor’ is not an abstract based book; it is the edifices of the ethics that has been at the heart of the medical profession for as long as the profession itself. Societies have, since time immemorial, expected healers to follow an exemplary code of conducts, as mentioned the writer, “I can’t imagine that back in fifth century BC, Hippocrates would have known that society’s basic expectations from the medical profession and its practitioners would remain largely unchanged for so long. Since this oath is the fundamental principle guiding to those who are committed to this profession.”ethical-doctor

Covering almost entire malpractices system in healthcare, author has touched all the illegal structure , cuts and commissions, unnecessary test and treatments, profit making drug companies and appliance manufacturers, exploitation of the vulnerable and the poor, touts, false claims, quacks, cat fight among private and public sectors and more importantly the regulators.

Each chapter in the book attempts to make suggestions for the future, in exploring how we can change things, as the writer states, “I firmly believe that simply reiterating the problems will not do justice to what we have set out to achieve with this book. How do you instill values in people? How do you teach social equity and fair play? How do you teach humans to be humane?”

Rather then merely listing what is wrong with our healthcare system, and makes an attempt to understand the reasons underlying the difficulties. The writer has also tried to be able to come up with some practical suggestions. A simplistic enumeration of the problems, though convenient, will not do justice to either patients or health professionals in India.

About the author: Following his graduation from Calcutta Medical College and post-graduation from Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, and University of Liverpool, Dr Mahawar has been working as Consultant General and Bariatric Surgeon with National Health Service (City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Trust), United Kingdom. He is actively involved with research and is the editor of several reputed scientific journals. Dr Mahawar is also the co-founder of science portal Webmed Central.

 Dr.Kamal Kumar Mahawar

  • Consultant General and Bariatric Surgeon, Sunderland Royal Hospital
  • Associate Clinical Lecturer, Newcastle University and Visiting Research Fellow, Sunderland University
  • Associate Editor, “Clinical Obesity” and Editorial Board Member, “Obesity Surgery”
  • Member, Communications Committee, IFSO and Scientific Committee IFSO 2017
  • Author “The Ethical Doctor” by “Harper Collins India” available at Amazon



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