Telemedicine and ethics: opportunities in India

Document Type


Publication Date



Prior to the Covid19 pandemic, telemedicine was an upcoming modality of diagnosis and treatment, but was limited by inadequate guidelines and legislation. Now, during the pandemic, policy makers worldwide have found it prudent to set forth new telemedicine guidelines to ease and regulate operations. The Government of India, along with the Board of Governors (in supercession of the Medical Council of India), amended the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, and published the Telemedicine Practice Guidelines in 2020 to lay down a framework for telemedicine practice in our country. This step will provide a medicolegal context for the delivery of online health services. However, the Guidelines in their present form only partly address the ethical aspects of telemedicine in India. Here, we briefly describe these Guidelines and highlight the ethical concerns surrounding the teleconsultation process in our country. We also suggest possible solutions to these ethical issues surrounding the practice of telemedicine.