Social responsibilities of a physician: reflections of Major General S L Bhatia
(1891–1981)

Radhika Hegde, Mario Vaz

DOI: 10.20529/IJME.2017.070


Abstract

This paper examines various documents written by Major General SL Bhatia CIE, MC, IMS from the 1920s to the1960s on the “Social Responsibilities of a Physician”. His reflections are of historical significance, since they provide us with an insight into the challenges confronting the people who attempted to rebuild a nation plagued by poverty resulting from fractured agricultural growth, a feudalistic social structure and the regional inequalities that accompany it, and prolonged imperial rule, among other things. Bhatia’s thoughts, especially on medical education and the condition of rural health and sanitation, enable us to understand India’s present health concerns through the prism of the past. The writings of Bhatia, who lived during a period of transition in India, reflect an understanding of health issues from the perspectives both of an administrator and a physician struggling to meet the challenges of a nascent nation. He insisted on rooting his medical teachings in the principles of the humanities and ethics.

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