The eras of Ram and Krishna represents two different perceptions of life. While Rama taught us the message of truthfulness, Krishna taught us when not to speak the truth and when is speaking a lie justified.

The medical profession today cannot survive on the principles of Rama. According to principles of Krishna a truth which if spoken may cause harm to someone and if not spoken does not cause any harm may not be spoken. Similarly, a lie, which without harming the community may help a particular person or situation, may be spoken.

In medical profession doctors come across situations every day, where speaking the truth may be harmful to the patient. Quite often false hopes are given and patients of terminal cancer are not told about their exact nature of illness and the prognosis. There is no way a doctor is going to tell the patient that you are going to die in the next 24 hours even if it is medically true.

Dharma, artha, kama and moksha are the four basic purposes of life for which we are born. The basic purpose of life is to fulfil our desires in such a way that we end up in inner happiness. Fulfilment of desires should be done by following the principles of righteous or ethical earning.

Most charges in the hospital settings are different depending upon the categories chosen by the patient. A single room patient invariably has to pay more than a patient admitted in the concessional three-bed room or general ward. Even the charges of the treatment, operation theatre, investigations and consultations may be different depending upon the categories. Taking more money from the rich and helping the poor. This principle is more according to Krishna’s principle than Rama’s.

Placebo therapy is a well–established therapy in medical science, which means treating the patient without giving the actual drug to a patient. The information that the drug does not contain any ingredient is withheld from the patient in this type of therapy. As per the literature, 35% of the illnesses and symptoms may resolve using a placebo and is based on the principle that the very feeling that a medicine is being given stimulates the inner body pharmacy and produces healing substances and chemicals.

Nocebo effect on the other hand means that if the patient is told that your illness is not going to be cured even if medicines are given they may not act as the patient’s body produces negative chemicals, which neutralize the effect of medicines that otherwise are effective.

Indian doctors are known for their social medicine, which involves proper assessing of patients’ and their families’ financial status before deciding the treatment. There is no point giving options to a family to spend 10–15 lakhs of rupees for getting an ICD device implanted in the heart, which may increase life span only by one or two years or improve quality of life for a few years to a family who cannot afford this amount of money and may have to sell their house or spend all the money saved for the marriage of their daughters.

But now with the Consumer Protection Act applicable to the medical profession, not informing the family may amount to negligence.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are entirely my own.