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Puzzling silence of the British Medical Association

I support wholeheartedly the argument of Drs Chisholm and Sheather (1) in their essay in IJME that silence is not an option in times of conflict; but suggest that there are other situations in which this principle applies.

Since the authors have referred to the World Medical Association (WMA) in their essay, I request them to favour us with their opinion on the deafening silence maintained by the British Medical Association on the troubling issue of Dr Ketan Desai being elected President of the WMA despite his being on trial in a court of law in India for corruption.

Our publication in the BMJ (2) and the response to it by Dr. Kunal Saha (3) did not result in any action from the British Medical Association (BMA) or its Medical Ethics Committee. Our request to the WMA and BMA for information on the financial statements of the WMA and the contributions made to it by the Indian Medical Association over the past 10 years too elicited no response.

I can understand the inability of the Indian Medical Association to provide this information as the findings may implicate it in the behind-the-scenes dealings which facilitated Dr. Desai’s election.

I find the BMA’s silence puzzling.

Sunil K Pandya ([email protected]), Neurosurgeon, Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre, Deshmukh Marg, Mumbai 400 026, INDIA.


  1. Chisholm J, Sheather J. Medical ethics in times of conflict – why silence is not an option. Indian J Med Ethics. 2018 Jan-Mar;3(1). NS: 39-42. DOI: 10.20529/IJME.2017.095.
  2. Pandya S, Nagral S, Nundy S: World Medical Association’s tainted president, Ketan Desai. BMJ 2016;335:i5867 (Published 10 November 2016)
  3. Saha K. Re: World Medical Association’s tainted president, Ketan Desai. BMJ. 2016 Nov 25; 355:i5867. (Published 25 November 2016)
About the Authors

Sunil K Pandya ([email protected])


Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre, Deshmukh Marg, Mumbai 400 026, INDIA




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