Talk:/Medical Institutions in ancient india/Vaidyas/Manners and Ethics

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Manners and Ethics


The physician was expected to be a paragon of gentlemanly qualities. He should not be given to braggartism. Even though posse�ssed of learning and skill in his science, he should, not be loud in proclaiming it to the world. Caraka lays down

�Even though possessed of knowledge one should not boast and speak of it over much. For though a man be virtuous otherwise, boastfulness makes him hateful to people."


His general attitude must be genial, gentle, modest and sincere. He was to harbour no ill will against any one and should look upon the destitute, the poor and the helpless as his own kith and kin and be ready to offer help to such.


His attitude to women was particularly aloof and detached. When he entered a patient�s house he was to keep his head bent and not be curious about the things and persons about him. His mind must be devoted to the welfare of the patient alone. If he had to enter to treat a woman, he should never go unaccompanied, and he should neither laugh nor smile nor exchange irrelevant words with her. No gifts offered by her in the absence of the husband are to be accepted. Even if he discovers her attachment to him and her amorous overtures, he should not respond Neither should he divulge them to others.


The Kasyapa samhita is emphatic on the subject. It also describes the attitude he should have towards another physician that may happen to be interested in the patient.


�In the household of the patients, he should never engage himself in joke with women, even with female servants. He should not utter their names without prefixing terms of reverence, he should always speak giving the place of honor. He should not try to have any transaction with or great attachment to them. He should accept nothing from the woman without the knowledge of her husband. He should never enter without informing beforehand. He should neither talk nor sit with a woman in privacy. He should never look at her when she is uncovered or should - not laugh at her. He should be indifferent towards her if she shows her love but should never bring it to light.


If any other physician comes in, he should forgive him and should win him over by friendly conversations If he finds fault with him again and again, he should be challenged to debate and should be overpowered, from the very beginning, by the authority of other texts He should not be given an opportunity to speak If he begins to speak, one should bawl out �It is not so' Oae should ridicule him and should catch hold of his faulty words and should involve him into difficulties. One should not treat him roughly losing control but should overpower him only by words of seeming praise.�


Vagbhata sums up admirably the picture of a true Vaidya, his attitude and equipment in the following verses


�He who visits the patient only on invitation, well dressed and having perceived the good omens, who having entered reposes his mind on nothing else than the patient, who examines the patient and his malady in the light of the etiological factors, who never divulges any shameful features of the patients life and who knows the proper time and stage of treatment and uses it, he indeed is the true physician that achieves success in his treatment.�