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Kerala Govt Says Doctors Can Prescribe Liquor, IMA Says No

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The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has said that the Kerala government’s decision to sell liquor to people on doctor’s prescription is wrong.



“Scientific treatment should be given to those who have alcohol withdrawal symptoms. It can be treated at home or in hospitals with medicines. It is not scientifically acceptable to offer alcohol to them. Doctors have no legal obligation to provide a prescription for alcohol,” it said.

There have been five cases of suicides  and people in parts of Kerala  have shown acute withdrawal symptoms after the state banned the sale of liquor on March 24, the day the countrywide lockdown began.Though the state cabinet met urgently to find a way out and decided on allowing online sale of liquour, it is yet to be implemented in the state due to non-availability of liquor.



The state then decided on Monday to grant passes for those who were dependent on liquor provided they are able to furnish a prescription from a government doctor. To procure the liquor pass, the doctor must be convinced that the person has alcohol withdrawal syndrome and a note  to that effect would be given to the person. This note should be taken to the nearest excise range office or circle office by the patient or someone authorised by the patient.

But the IMA has said scentific treatment should be given to those who have alcohol withdrawal symptoms. “It can be treated at home or in hospitals with medicines. It is not scientifically acceptable to offer alcohol to them. Doctors have no legal obligation to provide a prescription for alcohol” it said. It  further added that writing a liquor prescription can result in the cancellation of the right to treatment.

-India Legal Bureau

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