It is not rare to find medical professionals spreading disinforma- tion. This was prominently observed during the pandemic when different medications were touted to help save lives. Vaccinations from various pharma were also scrutinized; some doctors bla- tantly advised against one or many of them.
A survey by Stanford University about combating misconcep- tions had a different tale to tell. Regulators took some measures rightfully. California recently approved a bill known as Assem- bly bill 2098 (AB 2098), signed by Governor Gavin Newsom, to punish doctors for spreading false information about COVID-19 vaccinations and treatments.
Doubts were cast on certain vaccines. Sue to the emer- gency, without enough efficacy data for late-stage clini- cal trials were allowed. Leading the medical community not to take it head on, this hesitancy and the glitches in the registration may spread false information on the entire vaccination program.
Facing medical disinformation crisis, India is still scrambling to make a stringent bill. The need to please stakeholders and the public at large has cost people their lives. As such, India doesn’t have a bill nor a specified law for punishing doctors who spread false news. However, the All India Medical Council will take up complaints on individu- al doctors and decide on the due course of punishment, either warning or cancellation of license, if the offense is grave, like many lives were harmed or lost.
India has recently directed penal action against those spreading misinformation on the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines. The of- fenders will be punished under the Disaster Management Act as well as the Indian Penal Code. What can we do more? Here goes…