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Prescribing liquor to those with withdrawal symptoms not scientifically acceptable: IMA to Kerala CM

The medical body said writing a liquor prescription can result in the cancellation of the right to treatment.

SNS | New Delhi |

The Kerala Chapter of Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Monday said that providing alcohol to those undergoing withdrawal symptoms is not scientifically acceptable after Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan directed the Excise Department to provide liquor to those with a prescription from a doctor.

The medical body said writing a liquor prescription can result in the cancellation of the right to treatment.

“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,” IMA said in reply to Vijayan.

The CM’s direction to the Excise Department came as suicide cases were reported from various parts of the state after liquor sales were stopped following the Coronavirus lockdown.

The government had also asked the Excise Department to provide free treatment to and admit people with withdrawal symptoms to de-addiction centers.

The Chief Minister further said that the government is also considering the option of online sale of liquor as the sudden unavailability of alcohol may lead to social problems.

Meanwhile, medical professionals are now up in arms over the Kerala government’s decision to make alcohol available to people with a doctor’s prescription.

Kerala Government Medical Officers Association on Sunday said that it is unethical and against medical practice to do this.

The state government, a few days after the lockdown began, finally decided to close down all the bars and then the retail outlets selling liquor and beer in the state.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, whenever asked why is that he is not closing down these retail outlets, said that if it happens, then there will be other social issues created by the addicts.

Meanwhile, 32 new coronavirus cases were reported in Kerala out of which 17 have foreign travel history. With this, total cases rise to 213 in the state.