Saturday, January 9, 2016

Professionals and Promotions




Ethics have always been an issue, now-a-days in every field, more so in medicine. When we repeatedly speak of ethics, means we are stepping out frequently. If not checked at right times, some of the actions of the professionals become objectionable by public. It is unfortunate, that professionals take oath, more as ritual than a conscious affirmation. This is seen in every sphere; public or private, proportions may vary.

Recently, from Harvard to Stanford a notable instruction was sent out to medical professionals, banning them from receiving samples, participation on behalf of pharmaceuticals as promoters of their products etc. This is welcomed by all, though not totally. The issue of ethics is only a small part but the umpteen numbers of related issues that amount to intellectual or monetary corruption. It may be rude to conclude and many professionals are innocent and see only the scientific part of it. It is not universal, the higher the cadre, greater is their role in the promotion of a given product. What is that Professionals who indulge get, pleasure trips, rewards, continuous support of the company, including some personal gains. Managements of Harvard noticed the malady of such practices. Weeks of absence from the place of work by travelling to several places across the continents, promoting the products cause serious inconvenience to the services.

Apart from this is the greatest damage caused by identification of the said professionals with some companies. Let us not dwell on the quality of the products, which is a different issue. Medical professionals opting to write protocols, promotional literature, release product information, and above all making some claims that are intended to attract peers, are all questioned by both public and colleagues. The image of the entire professional fraternity is at stake sometimes. To have a bias for a product may not be objectionable but selection and dropping any product irrationally creates problems. This is not restricted to drugs, but to many biomedical equipment, disposables, catheters etc.
Medical ethics is categorical in admonishing such practices.

But, unfortunately, they continue in some form or other. For example advertising, particular professional or services as information is different from publishing photos and pictures. Medical Profession is noble, no doubt, are the professionals noble?, is the question asked by public. As responsible citizens, Medical professionals need to practice and project up-right personality. In Greek, persona means, Mask, at the same time, Persona in Latin is divine. I do not know what becomes applicable in this situation.

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