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How Can A Writ Court Decide If Allopathy Or Ayurveda Will Work For COVID-19 Treatment? Karnataka HC Asks

Mustafa Plumber
11 Sep 2020 2:45 AM GMT
How Can A Writ Court Decide If Allopathy Or Ayurveda Will Work For COVID-19 Treatment? Karnataka HC Asks
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"How can a writ court decide whether allopathy treatment will work or whether ayurvedic treatment will work while treating a patient infected with COVID-19," the Karnataka High Court observed on Thursday while hearing a public interest litigation filed by two qualified practitioners of Ayurveda. The petitioners A. Varghese, (66) and Dr. Priyanka Arora, have sought to quash the...

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"How can a writ court decide whether allopathy treatment will work or whether ayurvedic treatment will work while treating a patient infected with COVID-19," the Karnataka High Court observed on Thursday while hearing a public interest litigation filed by two qualified practitioners of Ayurveda.

The petitioners A. Varghese, (66) and Dr. Priyanka Arora, have sought to quash the 'Revised Standard Operating Procedure for CCC, dated 20.7.2020 issued by the State Commissionerate of Health & Family Welfare Services. Guidelines issued by the Ministry of AYUSH. Clinical Management Protocol: Covid-19" issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India and the Advisory issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research, to the extent that they mandated the use of allopathic drugs only and does not leave the patient with the right to choose or refuse any other form of treatment.

The plea states that a patient testing positive for COVID-19 and who is a firm believer in the Ayurvedic system is not permitted to take Ayurvedic drugs for management of symptoms of Covid-19 and if that person is admitted in a government establishment and is forced against their will to take allopathic drugs only.

The court was informed that at the outset the petitioners are not saying that Ayurveda is a cure for Covid-19. Nor do they propagate such a belief. What they are saying is that many of the symptoms of Covid-19 can be treated with positive results by relying upon the age-old and well-tested systems of Ayurveda. Ayurvedic drugs can generally boost the immune systems and may possibly reduce the severity of the ultimate illness. What the Petitioners are also emphatically saying is that they do not want to be forced to take allopathic treatment in government institutions and that they take full responsibility for this decision and any consequence thereof and that they will blame no one for an informed decision taken by them as to the course of their treatment.

The petition claims that Ayurveda has a long tradition behind it and it remains a favoured form of health care in large parts of the Eastern world, especially in India, where a large percentage of the population uses this system exclusively or combined with modern medicine.

The current therapy for Covid-19 involves only symptomatic treatment, supportive care and prevention of complications; however, no specific drug or targeted intervention is available yet. Ayurveda recommends local and systemic prophylaxis measures for respiratory diseases that may be beneficial in COVID-19 prevention.

The petition also relies on a Supreme Court judgement in the case of Common Cause v. Union of India, (2018) 5 SCC 1, to support its contention that a person's right to choose the treatment of their choice and to even reject treatment is an integral feature of a person's fundamental right to privacy and right to life guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

To support the same view the petitioners also state that the Fundamental right to choose medical treatment and to reject or refuse treatment has also been recognized in the "Charter of Patients' Rights" prepared by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

The advocate for the petitioner sought one weeks time on the ground that Senior counsel who would put forth the case is not available. The court allowed the request and posted the matter for further hearing on September 27.





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