Whistleblower doctor wins battle against MCI


The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health’s intervention has finally brought to close an eight-year-long campaign waged by K.V. Babu, a physician from Kannur, whose relentless fight against the Indian Medical Association’s (IMA) product endorsements and the legal hassles that followed had eventually led him on a collision course with the Medical Council of India (MCI).

In 2008, Dr. Babu had complained to the MCI against IMA, which had signed a Rs.2.25-crore deal with Pepsico for endorsing its products and which Dr. Babu pointed out was in violation of the MCI’s Code of Ethics Regulations, 2002.

The whistleblower doctor had all the while been fighting expulsion by the IMA Kerala branch and harassment by the MCI, which, instead of upholding the code of ethics had exempted the IMA from within the ambit of the ethics regulation and had turned against Dr. Babu and his wife Bindu for going to the press.

The MCI, following the intervention of the PSC, has finally given up and has agreed to unconditionally drop the complaint against Dr. Babu and close the case. The PSC’s report was tabled in the Lok Sabha on Monday. The MCI has also been forced to retract its earlier statement that professional association of doctors such as the IMA did not fall within its jurisdiction.

Talking to The Hindu , Dr. Babu said that he had relentlessly pursued the case because morally, ethically and legally, he was right on every count and hence, none had the right to harass him.

“According to the Code of Ethics, every medical practitioner should be a member of a professional association, which gives me the right to be a member of the IMA. But the IMA’s unethical endorsement of a product does not suit my ethics. The Code of Ethics also says that it is the responsibility of a medical professional to oppose any unethical practice,” he said.

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Printable version | Dec 16, 2019 11:30:55 AM |

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