The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the National Medical Commission (NMC) and the Central government on a plea seeking to prevent doctors from participating in live discussions or taking questions during a live surgery broadcast (LSB).
A bench of Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud as well as Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra issued notice and sought replies within three weeks.
Senior Advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan, representing the petitioners, drew a comparison between the practice of surgeons engaging in live discussions during surgeries and an unlikely scenario where a cricketer not only plays cricket but also provides live commentary.
He highlighted that many foreign countries have already banned this practice and cited a case in which a patient died on the operating table at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
“This is like Virat Kohli playing cricket and also giving live commentary. Many foreign countries have banned this. one person died on the table at AIIMS too. Some people agree as they are told foreign surgeon will operate but with live broadcast,” he said.
Sankaranarayanan argued that LSBs raise ethical concerns regarding informed consent since the surgeon’s attention is divided between the surgery and individuals outside the operating theater.
He also emphasized that in the case of LSB, patients are offered surgical fee waivers without a clear understanding of the procedure they are about to undergo.
Further, he asserted that the primary motivation for allowing such broadcasts is advertising and sponsorship.