The Kerala High Court on Friday declined to entertain a petition challenging the State government's proposal to administer homeopathic prophylactic drug, Arsenicum Album 30CH (Ars. Alb. 30) to school students as immunity booster against COVID-19. (Dr. Cyriac Abby Philips v. Union of India).A Division Bench of Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly disposed of the plea while granting liberty to the petitioner to approach the government with a representation. The Court also directed the government to consider the grievances of the petitioner within a period of ten days. .The petition was filed by a doctor who claimed to be specialist in Hepatology and Liver Transplant Medicine and a recipient of the gold medal for academic excellence in Hepatology from the President of India in 2016..The petition, filed through advocate S Akash, had challenged the mass campaign undertaken by the State along with its Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of General Education, Ayush Department and Directorate of Homoeopathy to distribute homeopathic drug, Arsenicum Album 30CH (Ars. Alb. 30) among school students as a supposed preventive medicine against COVID-19..In this regard, the petitioner submitted an order approving the action plan of the Directorate of Homeopathy called ‘Karuthalode Munnottu’ (Forward with Caution) by which Secretary of the Ayush Department is planning to launch the first phase of the campaign for the distribution of Ars. Alb. 30 among school children on October 25.The petitioner approached the Court to quash this order. .The petitioner submitted that in the two years since the beginning of the pandemic when the Central government published an advisory which stated that a group of experts recommended the use of Ars. Alb. 30 as a prophylactic against covid-19, no scientific evidence has been adduced indicating any positive effect of the drug. Moreover, it was contended that arsenic is a known carcinogen which is ranked first among toxicants posing significant potential threat to human health. "Arsenic is known as the king of all poisons; due to the significant threat it poses to human health. Exposure to Arsenic can cause cancer, liver damage and several other health problems. Studies suggest that even trace amounts of Arsenic can also cause cognitive and neurological dysfunction in children," the plea said. .In this regard, the petitioner submitted published research literature from India and Germany that indicate that consumption of Ars. Alb. by adult individuals resulted in them developing Arsenicosis and other symptoms associated with Arsenic poisoning. .Pertinently, studies that reveal that even mild exposure of children to Arsenic causes neurological and cognitive dysfunction, induces learning deficits and mood disorders like depression, were submitted. .Further, it was submitted that the petitioner, after finding a positive correlation between ingestion of certain homeopathic prophylactics or immune boosters and liver damage, had sent certain samples of homeopathic drugs, which were retrieved from his patients, including Ars. Alb. 30, to labs for testing and found that Arsenic was present in the drugs at alarming levels..Therefore the petitioner asserted "Children are more vulnerable to Arsenic toxicity and therefore, the steps taken by the respondents of expanding the use of Ars. Alb. 30 to school children is therefore, inhumane and calls for intervention"..The petition also raised the aspect of medical ethics involved in this matter as the right of every person to know the details of the medicine, treatment, or medical management, risks involved in the treatment and its possible complications is emphasised in Standards for Hospital level 1 by National Clinical Establishments Council set up as per Clinical Establishment Act 2010 . .It was contended that the Central and State governments have not only been consciously withholding information regarding the possible risks associated with the drug but has also been engaging in a campaign of misinformation. Therefore, the petitioner approached the High Court seeking to quash the decision to provide Ars. Alb. 30 to school children and a direction to the respondents to produce valid scientific evidence to indicate the efficacy and safety of the same. .Interestingly, another petition has been filed in the Kerala High Court seeking directions to the State government to urgently provide sufficient doses of Homeopathic prophylactic medicines against Covid to all willing students before schools in the State reopen in November 2021..Story to be updated with order.