Well-Mannered Medicine: Medical Ethics and Etiquette in Classical Ayurveda

Paperback | August 15, 2012

byDagmar Wujastyk

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Dagmar Wujastyk explores the moral discourses on the practice of medicine in the foundational texts of Ayurveda. The classical ayurvedic treatises were composed in Sanskrit between the first and the fifth centuries CE, and the later works, dating into the sixteenth century CE, were stillconsidered strongly authoritative. As Wujastyk shows, these works testify to an elaborate system of medical ethics and etiquette. Physicians looked to the ayurvedic treatises for a guide to professional conduct. Ayurvedic discourses on good medical practice depict the physician as highly-educated, skilled, moral, and well-mannered. The rules of conduct positioned physicians within mainstream society's and characterized medicalpractice as a trustworthy and socially acceptable profession. At the same time, professional success was largely based on a particular physician's ability to cure his patients. This resulted in tension, as some treatments and medications were considered socially or religiously unacceptable. Doctorsneeded to treat their patients successfully while ostensibly following the rules of acceptable behavior. Wujastyk offers insight into the many unorthodox methods of avoiding conflict while ensuring patient compliance shown in the ayurvedic treatises, giving a disarmingly candid perspective on the realities of medical practice and its crucial role in a profoundly well-mannered society.

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Dagmar Wujastyk explores the moral discourses on the practice of medicine in the foundational texts of Ayurveda. The classical ayurvedic treatises were composed in Sanskrit between the first and the fifth centuries CE, and the later works, dating into the sixteenth century CE, were stillconsidered strongly authoritative. As Wujastyk sh...

Dagmar Wujastyk has a PhD in Indology 2010 from Bonn University.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:August 15, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199859965

ISBN - 13:9780199859962

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Table of Contents

AbbreviationsAcknowledgementsIntroduction1. The pillars of treatment2. On becoming a physician3. On continued learning and interaction with peers4. To care or not to care5. The rewards of medical practice6. Veracity in the doctor-patient relationship7. Ethical elisions8. Concluding reflectionsAppendicesA Sanskrit text passages: The pillars of treatmentB Sanskrit text passages: On becoming a physicianC Sanskrit text passages: On continued learning and interaction with peersD Sanskrit text passages: To care or not to careE Sanskrit text passages: The rewards of medical practiceF Sanskrit text passages: Veracity in the doctor-patient relationshipNotesBibliography