November 19, 2020

Hippocratic Oath Blotted Again

Last one year or so has been extremely challenging and testing for medicos across the globe. They have given their best to combat the horrible pandemic of COVID19 which has consumed lakhs of souls. Doctors and paramedical workforce displayed exemplary courage and determination to deal with the situation. Medicos of our own erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir registered a golden era in the history of medical services. Our own doctors proved their mettle as true saviours of humanity. The virus load in Jammu and Kashmir union territory has almost touched the hundred thousand mark. More than 1500 people have fallen prey to the deadly virus. Many doctors and paramedics also lost the battle of life to the pestilent infection. Thus, we must admit and acknowledge the fact that our doctors and paramedics have been our real heroes who braved the odds and strenuous times, to serve the people with their best capabilities. We solute the brave hearts for rendering their best services, during the arduous times. Like every society, medicine is the first career choice of parents for their children. The profession has everything, one aspires for. Social service, charisma, dignity, awe, majesty…. I mean the profession is a complete package. It not only enables a doctor to better his/her living here, but it provides ample opportunities to medicos to better their hereafter as well. Doctors are not only considered next to God but are virtually worshipped for their services they render to human societies. But, there are vampires in the queues of these angels, wearing the sanctified white aprons, who do not leave any opportunity to suck the blood of innocents. Sometimes, they loot the assets of poor sufferers in the name of exorbitant appointment fee, sometimes in the name of unnecessary medicine and gratuitous diagnostic tests. Such unscrupulous and fringe elements have brought humiliation to the whole medicos community. They have demeaned the sanctum-sanctorum position of Hippocratic oath and the noble profession. Very recently, the fraternity came in the line of fire when doctors at district hospital Bandipora refused to attend a COVID19 positive pregnant lady. The unattended lady gave birth to a baby, in the compound of the hospital. People castigated and bashed the district hospital administration for the alleged crime. Commoners are demanding stern and exemplary punitive action against the guilty medicos. District development commissioner Bandipora has ensured an enquiry into the incident but such enquiries often end up as eyewashes, and are almost a ploy to hoodwink common masses. It is not the first instance where doctors have torn the delicate fabric of Hippocratic oath, rather some conscienceless doctors are rampant to embarrass poor masses on daily basis. Many arrogant medicos cause mental and emotional discomfort to patients and their attendants. One fails to understand the logic behind this gross violation of medical science ethics. COVID19 positive pregnant ladies have been attended across the globe. Even our tertiary care hospitals like Lalla Ded hospital Srinagar has been at the forefront to attend COVID19 positive patients. But, the case is altogether different in some of our hospitals where some doctors are behaving like autocratic Tzars of old Russia. Even the director health services kashmir has adopted criminal silence over such gross violations of basic human rights, by doctors. If doctors have the required protective gear and necessary equipment, which burdens our state exchequer by hefty bucks, then why can’t they attend COVID19 positive people. Does it mean that COVID19 positive patients should be left at the mercy of God. Doctors at district hospital Bandipora have violated basic rules and regulations of medical ethics and morals.
Constitution of the country stands ashamed and bowed in disgust. The erring doctors must be booked under relevant sections of Indian penal code, so that commoners will continue to trust the executive of the country. I request honourable high court of Jammu and Kashmir to take cognizance of the matter, and issue directions to the concerned stakeholders to take punitive action against the rutheless doctors. One can imagine the trauma and embarrassment of the victimised family and the patient. Can the erring doctor and administration compensate the family for the acute miseries and pains, they have been subjected to ? No, not all. There is no way to compensate it at all. People at the helm must initiate a high level enquiry, and the doctors must be brought to the books if found guilty. It will ensure transparency and accountability in our health and other public services. Health sector is the lifeline of our existence. Besides general overhauling and upgradation of the system, people at the helm of affairs must introduce proper checks and balances in the system, so that heart-wrenching and untoward incidents will cease to happen in our healthcare system. Doctors should not be appointed and recruited on the basis of qualifications and grades only, but they should be set to different behavioural tests before being inducted into the system. There must be some weight-age for good behaviour, moral uprightness, integrity, as well. Hope, concerned stakeholders will take all necessary measures to ensure the best possible services for our people.
(The author is a teacher by profession. Views are his own) [email protected]

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COVID-19

India
Confirmed: 9,499,413Deaths: 138,122