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Advertising remains unethical even in the digital age

Sunil K Pandya


Abstract

Most codes on ethics in medicine prohibit advertising by doctors. There are good reasons for this prohibition. As professionals, it ill behoves us to publicly sing our own praises or solicit patients. We must await clients by referrals from colleagues or by word of mouth. Were physicians to advertise, patients run the risk of being lured to the one with the fanciest media coverage rather than to the most competent and experienced. This prohibition gains greater validity in a country such as India where ignorance and gullibility abound. This does not deprive the extraordinary physician of renown. Noteworthy contributions to medical theory or practice are legitimately published in medical journals after being subject to review by peers and can command admiration from colleagues.

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