BETWEEN HOPE AND FEAR.
The following will be read with interest by practitioners of all systems of medicine in Bengal, and nonetheless all over India : “The Bengal Council of Medical Registration, who removed the name of Kaviraj Pravash Chandra Sen, M. B. from the Register of registered practitioners, has, it is understood, been directed by the Bengal Government to re-enter his name in the Register and to modify the rules under which action was taken against Kaviraj Sen.
“Kaviraj Sen, who is associated with the Viswanath Ayurved Mahavidyalaya in the teaching of clinical subjects such as Pediatrics, Hygiene and Gynaecology, was charged by the Bengal Medical Council with violation of ethical rules of the Council by his association with non-registered medical practitioners and found guilty of “infamous conduct” and his name was accordingly removed from the Register of registered practitioners.
“Against this order of the Council Kaviraj Sen appealed to the Bengal Government who upheld his appeal. The Bengal Government observes that the ethical code adopted by the Bengal Council of Medical Registration, which is reported to be a replica of that adopted by the General Medical Council of Great Britain, clearly militates against the policy adopted by the Government in recognising the indigenous systems of medicine as well as Homoeopathy and in constituting State Councils and Faculties of such medicines for the purpose of their development on modern scientific lines. Kaviraj Sen, the Government points out, by helping to develop the Ayurvedic system of treatment, could hardly be charged with infamous conduct, at least in the ordinary sense of the term.
If the action taken by the Bengal Council against Kaviraj Sen is allowed to stand, the cause of Ayurveda or any other system of medical treatment recognised by Government is likely to be jeopardised and the purpose for which State Councils and Faculties in respect of these systems have been established will be defeated. It need hardly be added, opines the Bengal Government, that in a country like India where the majority of the population have to depend for their medical relief on indigenous medicines any analogy with practice obtaining in an advanced Western country like England where there is but a single recognised system of medical treatment will be inept.
“The Bengal Government on these grounds upheld the appeal of Kaviraj Sen and directed the Council to re-enter his name in the Register and also to take steps to modify the rules under which action against Kaviraj Sen was taken.”.
–[A. B. Patrika, 28.9.42.
The above is an eloquent testimony of Governments concern for the Bengal Faculty of Ayurvedic Medicine and the Faculty of Homoeopathic Medicine in ovo. Yet, there does not appear to be an unanimous appreciation of this gesture of the Government.
The Bengal Medical Councils finding of violation of ethical rules can hardly be superseded, because in framing its ethical rules every Council or syndicate is guided by its own sense of experience for promoting professional and public interests and for protecting its honour. However, the charge of infamous conduct against Kaviraj Sen was ill-conceived, and perhaps this unfortunate phrase was only hastily borrowed from the language of exotic Councils.
The right of entry on the Register of a provincial Medical Council is not acquired simply by passing the final examinations of the University or Medical Faculty in situ, but the registration is allowed by the Council for the explicit purpose of enabling and licensing the applicant to practice the art and science of its controlled system of medicine in which he received a full course of training and was found to possess the required proficiency. The registration is not granted for practising any and every system of medicine or such a system in which the applicant had no training and was not found by a proper authority to possess the required proficiency in that particular system of treatment. Such an indulgence must stiffle the object of medical registration and frustrate any Medical Council.
Now, for a medical practitioner it is a matter of superlative importance that besides instructions in the general medical subjects he has had a full course of instructions in Materia Medica, its Pharmacy, and its application, i.e. its Therapeutics, both theoretically and practically at the indoor and outdoor hospital clinics. It is an open secret that, in the first instance, the Pharmacopoeia of Allopathic medicine is very widely different from that of the Ayurvedic medicine and more so from that of Homoeopathic medicine.
The Therapeutics of these three systems of medicine stand still more widely apart, and one vies with the other as to its superior effectiveness. Thus, a medical graduate of the Allopathic system of medicine cannot be considered fit to practise any of the other systems of medicine before having received instructions and acquired the required proficiency in Materia Medica, Pharmacy and Therapeutics of the system of medicine of his choice. If, however, a medical graduate be given an unlimited latitude for playing vagaries with all systems of medicine the result becomes perilous to pubic life and prejudicial to the decorum and authority of Medical Councils of all denominations.
While the Government apprehends that the action taken by the Bengal Council against Kaviraj Sen is likely to jeopardise the cause of Ayurveda or any other system of medical treatment recognised by Government and the purpose for which State Councils and Faculties in respect of these systems have been established will be defeated, it confounds one to comprehend why a convert cannot be made to learn Materia Medica and Therapeutics of the system of medicine he adopts by preference, either for conviction or for money, and to get his name registered with the State Council of Ayurvedic or Homoeopathic Medicine as the case may be.
The order issued by the Bengal Government in the case cited above rather tends to drive in that frustrative direction and to lend an inferiority complex to the State Councils and Faculties so graciously sponsored by the Government.
It seems that the Bengal Medical Council is thrown in an un- welcome predicament. For, who knows how the General Medical Council of India or the G.M.C.