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Medical Ethics in India

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The origins of medicine in India stretch back to antiquity. The Harrapan city culture flourished in and around the Indus Valley ca. 2500 BCE; it is known for its elaborate bathhouses and drains and sewers built under the streets leading to soak pits. In the second millennium BCE, the northwestern parts of India were host to a series of Indo‐European immigrants and invaders from Central Asia. With them began the classical culture of India. Vedas, the sacred lore of the Indo‐Europeans, celebrate the Bhesaj, one knowledgeable in medicinal herbs. One of the four Vedas, the Atharvaveda, contains many chants, mantras, and herbal preparations to ward off evil, enemies, and diseases. The priest–physicians prescribed preparations of plants and herbs, and prayers and fasts for their patients. The Indian medical tradition, Āyurveda, meaning the science of vitality and long life, is considered a limb of the Atharvaveda.

A more formal system of medicine evolved from around the time of the Buddha...

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Desai, P.N. (2008). Medical Ethics in India. In: Selin, H. (eds) Encyclopaedia of the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine in Non-Western Cultures. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4425-0_9783

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