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Full text of "Medical Jurisprudence And Toxicology"

CHAPTER  XX

LAW IN RELATION TO MEDICAL MEN

THE MEDICAL ACT

In order that persons requiring medical aid should be enabled to discrimi-
nate between qualified and unqualified practitioners, an Act, called the
Medical Act of 1858, was passed by the British Parliament in 1858, which
came into force from the first day of October, one thousand eight hundred
and fifty-eight. This Act created the General Medical Council, which
maintains a register of medical practitioners, has the controlling power over
the discipline of the profession and over the curricula and examinations of
medical schools and colleges, and publishes the British Pharmacopoeia. This
Act was amended in the year 1950, and the amended Act is known as the
Medical Act, 1950. Under this Act a medical student who has passed his final
qualifying examination will not be entitled to be registered as a medical
practitioner, unless he has spent a year or two in a residential appointment at
an approved hospital or institution. During this period he will be provisionally
registered and will be authorized to sign death certificates and prescribe
dangerous drugs. Reciprocal arrangement may be made with Common-
wealth and foreign countries.

In India, owing to the want of uniformity of standard in preliminary
education and the medical courses in schools and colleges, and owing to the
prevalent Ayurvedic and Unani systems,1 no Medical Act had been passed
till recently to control or to restrict the medical practices. In 1916, the
Government of India passed the Indian Medical Degrees Act, known as Act
No. VII of 1916, to regulate the grant of titles implying qualifications in
Western Medical Science, and the assumption and use by unqualified persons
of such titles.

By section 6 of this Act whoever voluntarily and falsely assumes or -uses any title
or description or any addition to his name implying that he holds a degree, diploma,
licence or certificate conferred, granted or issued by any authority recognized by the
Governor-General-in-Council, or recognized by the General Council of Medical Educa-
tion of the United Kingdom, or that he is qualified to practise Western medical science,
shall be punishable with fine which may extend to two hundred and fifty rupees, or, if
he subsequently commits, and is convicted of an offence punishable under this section,
with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees:

Provided that nothing in this section shall apply to the use of any person of any
title, description, or addition which, prior to the commencement of this Act, he used in
virtue of any degree, licence or certificate conferred upon, or granted or issued to him.
Section 7 provides that no Court shall take cognizance of an offence punishable under
this Act, except upon complaint made by order of the Local Government, or upon com-
plaint made, with the previous sanction of the Local Government, by a Council of.
Medical Registration established by any enactment for the time being in force in the
province.

Within recent years the Provincial Governments have created Medical
Councils in Bombay, Madras, Bengal, Bihar, Assam, Punjab, United Pro-
vinces and other Indian states by passing the Medical Act for the registration
of certain medical practitioners and supervision of medical education in their
own provinces. Each of these Medical Councils consists of members
elected by the registered medical practitioners and those nominated by the
Provincial Government. The administrative head of the medical departs

1.   The Bombay Medical Practitioners* Act   (Bombay Act No. XXVI of'1938}
passed in 1938 to regulate the qualifications and to provide for the registration of (j
tioners of the Indian Systems of Medicine with a view to encourage the stuc% a^i.
of such systems and to amend the law relating to medical practitioners general!^,
also the UP. Indian Medicine Act, 1939 (X of 1939) which came into dfeei on ^e
1, 1946.                                                     4                                                       ' < -    ''