The Role of Dharma in the Understanding of Professional Morality Among Hindu Physicians in India

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Monash Bioethics Review


professional morality, physicians, Hindu, India, dharma


In the winter of 1995 I had the great good fortune to spend four months in India. My research objective was to inquire into the role that the idea of dharma plays in Hindu physicians' understanding of their moral obligations as doctors. In the West, the question of whether or not there is a morality specific to physicians, as distinct from the morality of the person (who happens to be a physician), is under intense scrutiny. I had reason to hypothesize that for Hindu physicians there might be a different perspective on this question of "role morality." The question that intrigued me was whether the idea of dharma, a notion of role-based moral obligation that literally "makes the world go round" in Hindu philosophy, would give the doctor a way of understanding his or her role as a physician as involving distinct moral obligations within a larger moral system.



This document is currently not available here.