“Whatsoever house I may enter, my visit shall be for the convenience and advantage of the patient; and I will willingly refrain … from acts of an amorous nature, whatever may be the rank of those who it may be my duty to cure, whether mistress or servant, bond or free.”
Indian doctors have recently been reminded of the perennial relevance of this ancient advice after the arrest of a gang of extortioners in New Delhi. Attractive women have been visiting doctors and after some treatment inviting them out for romantic engagements. Then the women accuse the doctors of rape and demand 50 lakh rupees, about US$75,000.
At least two women, Kuldeep Kaur, 32, and Sweta Panchal, 26, have been arrested, along with two male companions. They were caught after one doctor, who was also beaten up badly complained to the police. According to The Times of India, the gang got the idea from a Hollywood thriller. They appear to have targeted about 10 doctors.
The official code of medical ethics for doctors is more or less the same in India as in the United States and Australia. The American Medical Association says that any romantic relationship must not be concurrent with treatment. The Medical Board of Australia says that any sexual relationship with a patient, regardless of consent, is unethical and unprofessional. The Indian Medical Association says that adultery or other misconduct is liable for disciplinary action. However, according to the Times:
However, medical sources say, romantic relations are not all that rare in hospitals. As a doctor, who did not want to be named, admitted to TOI on Tuesday, "Doctors dating patients is not uncommon at all. The trend, which has been reported widely in western countries, is picking up in India."
"The doctor who claims he has been honey-trapped by a young woman patient is at fault," states Dr Girish Tyagi, registrar of the Delhi Medical Council. "How could he have got into a relationship with a patient?"
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