It pains when you treat a patient like a cheque
WRITE HAND BY AJAZ UL HAQUE
I dedicate this column to a doctor who cashed in on his patient's agony. He had no time in the hospital, delayed the date till pain surpassed limits and patient was forced to have herself treated at a private theatre. The doctor needed what we all need – money.
Doling out sermons to doctors won't do. Theirs being a `noble profession' is a theme trashed out beyond limits. The oft-quoted references to Hippocratic oath are customary. Doctors, like all of us, are humans with a human temptation to taste the forbidden, human tendency to make money, human instinct to earn a name and not to underrate a human emotion to help needy too. The usual `social service' lessons we keep trumpeting about can't enjoy a blanket application. No need to be syrupy in our expressions of compassion, discussions must revolve around realities and realities are always mixed.
Exceptions of philanthropy and generosity apart, normally by doing one's profession everyone serves his own belly first. Professions are professions - plain and pure. Without attributes and adjectives. Except some universally detested deeds like theft or extortion or blackmail, a profession per se is value neutral. Like medical, media too has a misplaced tag of being a `noble profession'. That `nobility' like the throne of a king can't be inherited, but as the wages of a labourer earned every day. And that `nobility' is not bred in the very matrix of a given profession, but in the individuals who do their duties as professionals. We work to earn first, to serve then. By treating the ill, doctors do their job first. That is what they are supposed to do. No preachifying while analysing the role of a doctor. We are humans first and we have to study problems on a human plane.
Why focus more on doctors? Simply because they deal with lives. Certain questions about medical profession are too disturbing to be left unanswered. Do doctors treat patients like blank cheques? Do they excise cash alongwith cysts, tumours, bladders and wombs? Is patient's body a piggy bank which you put your savings in? Are surgeries becoming an inevitable route for them to suck money? An instant `yes' speaks of a clear prejudice against the whole community. A wishful `no' hides a rotten fact of our society. The fact as always lies somewhere in between. We need doctors. Without them we'll die uncured. They are our gods on earth. The money they charge from a patient is their right. They treat us, but they cheat as well. We acknowledge the former for their commitment, but we are pained at the attitude of the latter to whom a patient is nothing more than a non-refundable, non-transferrable cheque.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 24 Sep 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 24 Sep 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 25 Sep 2011 00:00:00 IST
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