Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Code of Ethics
In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (l) of section 33 read with section 24 of the Homoeopathy Central Council Act, 1973 (59 of 1973), the Central Council of Homoeopathy, with the previous sanction of the Central Government, hereby makes the following regulations, namely :-
1. These regulations may be called the Homoeopathic Practitioners (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Code of Ethics) Regulations, 1982.
I. Declaration and Oath
II. General Principles
III. Duties Of Homoeopathic Practitioners To Their Patients
IV. Duties Of Practitioners To The Profession
V. Duties Of Practitioners In Consultation
VI. Duties Of Practitioners To The Public
VII. Professional Misconduct
DECLARATION AND OATH
2. (a) At the time of registration, each applicant shall submit the following declaration and oath read and signed by him to the Registrar concerned attested by the Registrar himself or by a registered practitioner of Homoeopathy
(1) I solemnly pledge myself to consecrate my life to the service of humanity
(2) Even under threat, I will not use my medical knowledge contrary to the laws of humanity
(3) I will maintain the utmost respect for human life.
(4) I will not permit considerations of religion, nationality, race, political beliefs or social standing to intervene between my duty and my patient.
(5) I will practise my profession with conscience and dignity in accordance with the principles of Homoeopathy and/or in accordance with the principles of biochemic system of medicine (tissue remedies).
(6) The health of my patient shall be my first consideration.
(7) I will respect the secrets which are confided to me.
(8) I will give to my teachers the respect and gratitude which is their due.
(9) I will maintain by all means in my power the honour and noble traditions of medical profession.
(10) My colleagues will be my brothers and sisters.
(11) I make these promises solemnly, freely and upon my honour.
(b) Hahnemannian Oath
“On my honour I swear that I shall practise the teachings of Homoeopathy, perform my duty, render justice to my patients and help the sick whosoever comes to me for treatment. May the teachings of master Hahnemann inspire me and may I have the strength for fulfillment of my mission.”
3. Character of Medical Practitioner
The primary object of the medical profession is to render service to humanity with full respect for the dignity of man; financial reward is a subordinate consideration. Whosoever chooses this profession assumes the obligation to conduct himself in accordance with its ideals. A practitioner of Homoeopathy shall be an upright man, instructed in the art of healing. He shall keep himself pure in character and be diligent in caring for the sick. He shall be modest, sober, patient and prompt and do his duty without anxiety, and shall be pious and conduct himself with propriety in his profession and in all the actions of his life.
4. Standards of Character and Morals
The medical profession expects from its members the highest level of character and morals, and every practitioner of Homoeopathy owes to the profession and to the public alike a duty to attain such a level. It shall be incumbent on a practitioner of Homoeopathy to be temperate in all matters, for the practice of medicine requires unremitting exercise of a clear and vigorous mind.
5. Practitioner’s Responsibility
A practitioner of Homoeopathy shall merit the confidence of patients entrusted to his care, rendering to each full measure of service and devotion. The honoured ideals of the medical profession imply that the responsibilities of a practitioner of Homoeopathy extend not only to individuals but also to the entire society.
(1) Solicitation of patients directly or indirectly by a practitioner of Homoeopathy either personally or by advertisement in the newspapers, by placards or by the distributiop of circular cards or handbills is unethical. A practitioner of Homoeopathy shall not make use of, or permit others to make use of, him or his name as a subject of any form or manner of advertising or publicity through lay channels which shall be of such a character as to invite attention to him or to his professional position or skill or as would ordinarily result in his self-aggrandisement provided that a practitioner of Homoeopathy is permitted formal announcement in press about the following matters, namely :
(i) the starting of his practice;
(ii) change of the type of practice;
(iii) change of address;
(iv) temporary absence from duty;
(v) resumption of practice;
(vi) succeeding to another’s practice.
(2) He shall further not advertise himself directly or indirectly through price lists or publicity materials of manufacturing firms or traders with whom he may be connected in any capacity, nor shall he publish cases, operations or letters of thanks from patients in non-professional newspapers or journals prov ded it shall be permissible for him to publish his name in connection with a prospectus or a director’s or a technical expert’s report.
7. Payment of Professional Service
(1) A practitioner of Homoeopathy engaged in the practice of medicine shall limit the sources of his income to fees received from professional activities for services rendered to the patient. Remuneration received for such services shall be in the form and amount specifically announced to the patient at the time the service is rendered; in all other cases he shall deem it a point of honour to adhere to the compensation for professional services prevailing in the community in which he practices.
(2) Fees are reducible at the discretion of the practitioner of Homoeopathy and he shall always recognise poverty as presenting valid claims for gratuitous services.
(3) It shall be unethical to enter into a contract of “no cure no payment”
8. Rebates and Commission
A practitioner of Homoeopathy shall not give, solicit or receive, nor shall he offer to give, solicit or receive, any gift, gratuity, commission or bonus in consideration for the referring, recommending or procuring of any patient for medical, surgical or other treatment nor shall he receive any commission or other benefit from a professional colleague, trader of appliances, dentist or an occulist.
DUTIES OF HOMOEOPATHIC PRACTITIONERS TO THEIR PATIENTS
9. Obligations to the Sick
Though a practitioner of Homoeopathy is not bound to treat each and every one asking for his services except in emergencies, he shall, for the sake of humanity and the noble traditions of the profession, not only be ever ready to respond to the calls of the sick and the injured, but shall be mindful of the high character of his mission and the responsibility he incurs in the discharge of his professional duties.
10. Practitioner’s Responsibility
(1) A practitioner of Homoeopathy is free to choose whom he will serve provided be shall respond to any request for his assistance in an emergency or whenever temperate public opinion expects the service.
(2) Once having undertaken a case, a practitioner of Homoeopathy shall not neglect the patient nor shall he withdraw from the case without giving notice to the patient, his relatives or his responsible friends sufficiently long in advance of his withdrawal to allow them time to secure another practitioner.
11. Termination of Service
(a) The following shall be valid reasons for his withdrawal :
(1) where he finds another practitioner in attendance;
(2) where remedies other than those prescribed by him are being used;
(3) where his remedies and instructions are refused;
(4) where he is convinced that illness is an imposture and that he is being made a party to a false pretence;
(5) where the patient persists in the use of opium, alcohol, chloral or similar intoxicating drugs against medical advice;
(6) where complete information concerning the facts and circumstances of the case are not supplied by the patient or his relatives.
(b) The discovery that the malady is incurable is no excuse to discontinue attendance so long as the patient desired his services.
12. Acts of Negligence
(1) No practitioner of Homoeopathy shall wilfully commit an act of negligence that may deprive his patient of necessary medical care.
(2) A practitioner of Homoeopathy is expected to render that diligence and skill in services as would be expected of another pracitioner of Homoeopathy with similar qualifications, experience and attainments.
(3) His acts of commission or omission shall not be judged by any non-homoeopathic standards of professional service expected of him but by those standards as are expected from a Homoeopath of his training, standing and experience.
(4) A practitioner of Homoeopathy shall use any drug prepared according to Homoeopathic principles and adopt other necessary measures as required.
13. Behaviour towards Patients
The demeanour of a practitioner of Homoeopathy towards his patients shall always be courteous, sympathetic, friendly and helpful. Every patient shall be treated with attention and consideration.
A practitioner of Homoeopathy shall endeavour to add to the comfort of the sick by making his visits at the hour indicated to the patients.
(1) The practitioner of Homoeopathy shall neither exaggerate nor minimize the gravity of a patient’s condition. He shall ensure that the patient, his relatives or responsible friends have such knowledge of the patient’s condition as will serve the best interest of the patient and his family.