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'Hospitals can, but doctors cannot advertise freely- Why?': Dr. MC Gupta answers

M3 India Newsdesk Jul 03, 2019

Dr. MC Gupta, a legal expert, answers why the Code of Medical Ethics does not allow doctors to advertise their practice but permits hospitals to do so.

QUESTION- Why are doctors not allowed to advertise freely as per the Code of Medical Ethics? Why there are no similar restrictions on a hospital?

Dr. MC Gupta answers

1—Restraint on advertisement is not peculiar to medical profession. It equally applies to the legal profession.

2—The obvious reasoning is that a profession is not a business. People are expected to excel in a profession on the strength of their professional worth (as judged / perceived by peers and clients) and not on the strength of their bloated / unreliable / false / self-serving advertisements which cost money and can be afforded only by those with rich coffers and not by those who sincerely devote time to their profession without caring for money. On the other hand, people are free to promote their business on the strength of their advertising skills and ability and funds for the same.

3—Advertising is allowed in case of a hospital because running a hospital is a business as compared to practicing medicine, which is a profession.

This article is part of a series of other Q&As by Dr. MC Gupta. Click on the links below to read.

Can a small set up without resident staff and emergency services be called a hospital? Dr. MC Gupta answers

Is it legally correct for a doctor to refuse to treat a patient? Dr. MC Gupta answers

Who can claim to be a specialist? Medico-legal angle explained by Dr. MC Gupta

Is it legally correct for an MD (General Medicine) doctor to practice as a cardiologist/nephrologist/endocrinologist?


Disclaimer- The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of M3 India.

Content from the writer has been directly replicated on the website. No edits have been made.

The writer, Dr. MC Gupta is a practising lawyer specialising in medical negligence cases. He also has an MD Medicine from AIIMS, Delhi where he also worked as a faculty member for 18 years, later working another 10 years as a Professor and Dean at National Institute of Health and Family Welfare, New Delhi, before pursuing law.

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