Current AffairsIndia

Ayurveda practitioner’s defamation notice for questioning AYUSH Covid-19 remedies an attempt to muzzle free speech: Indian Medical Association

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has hit back at the Ayurvedic practitioner who had served a defamation notice upon the IMA for equating AYUSH COVID-19 remedies to placebos.

The IMA, in its response, has termed the legal notice by the Ayurvedic practitioner an attempt to “muzzle any voice which seeks to question the effectiveness of Indian Medicine in preventing / curing the COVID-19 virus.”

India is still a democracy and the Constitution of India entitles all citizens to exercise their right to free speech, it added.

India is still a democracy and the Constitution of India entitles all citizens to exercise their right to free speech, says Indian Medical Association.


The reply notice filed through Advocate Prabhas Bajaj goes on to describe the legal notice as a demonstration of intolerance to fair comment and criticism and “opposed to the basic principles of scientific evaluation“.

The Association has pointed out that the approval of any drug for prescription and use entails a procedure under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, and its attendant rules.

Additionally, clinical and drug safety trials, peer review, comment, criticism and analysis are an “essential part” of any exercise that claims to be a conclusive scientific study, the Notice emphasizes.

In this respect, the Notice refers the Health Ministry’s National Clinical Management Protocol that prescribed Ayurveda and Yoga for use in prevention and management of Covid-19.

The claim was based on ‘empirical evidences and biological plausibility’ and ‘emerging trends of ongoing clinical studies’, but significantly cautions that moderate to severe COVID 19 individuals have informed choice of treatments options, the IMA points out in its Reply.

Stating that a majority of Indians would not be aware of the actual effectiveness of possible treatment options, vis-à-vis their claimed benefits, the IMA declares that its questions about the effectiveness of AYUSH remedies is in “public good”.

“IMA considers it to be its responsibility to caution against any situation where the citizens of India develop a false bravado on taking any medications which may not conclusively be an effective prevention or cure for the COVID-19 virus,” the Reply Notice reads.

On these terms, the notice calls upon the practitioner to immediately withdraw the notice.

Vaidya Prashant Tiwari, a practitioner of Ayurvedic Medicine had served a legal notice upon IMA for its allegedly defamatory remarks against AYUSH remedies for COVID-19 and for equating AYUSH drugs to placebos.

Tiwari also took issue with the IMA supposedly accusing the Union Health Minister “of inflicting a fraud on the nation” by issuing a national protocol which among other things had claimed that AYUSH remedies were effective for Covid-19 management.


Via Bar & Bench
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