After a controversy over the National Medical Commission (NMC) proposing to replace the Hippocratic oath with the Charak shapath, the new regulations for professional conduct released by the NMC, neither the word Charak nor Hippocratic figure anywhere.
According to a report in Times of India, the new draft of the regulation includes a “Physician’s Pledge”, which is the Declaration of Generva as amended in 2017 by the World Medical Association.
The NMC has posted the draft Registered Medical Practitioners (Professional Conduct) Regulations 2022 for comments from the public, experts and stakeholders.
Reports in February stated that NMC was mulling to replace the Hippocratic oath with Charak Shapath. The Charak Shapath was named after Charak, the father of Ayurveda.
However, the health ministry had stated in the Lok Sabha in March that the NMC has not proposed the replacement of the Hippocratic oath with Charak Shapath.
The NMC, then put out the guidelines for competency-based medical education on its website where is stated that “Modified Maharshi Charak Shapath” is recommended when a candidate is introduced to medical education. It included a brief transliteration of Maharshi Charak shapath.
However, there was no reference to the Hippocratic oath being replaced nor the shapath being mandatory.
In the earlier professional conduct regulations of the Medical Council of India too, there was no mention of the Hippocratic oath. But it had the shorter and modified version of the Geneva declaration.
The controversy began when the undergraduate medical education board (UGMEB) of the NMC, in its meeting held in February proposed to replace the Hippocratic oath with Charak shapath. The NMC’s public notice did not deny the minutes of meeting which was circulated on social media, but clarified that the meeting was of the UGMEB and not of the NMC.
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