Cure the disease and kill the patient
The recent actions of protesting doctors are examples of disregard for the value of human life.
Ah, Pims, a place where people are guaranteed quality health service. Or at least used to.
Nowadays, anyone naive enough to want to go to Pims for any form of treatment is guaranteed only one thing -- denial of service.
Medicine is a professional category that earns the respect of all and sundry the world over. Doctors, nurses, paramedics and even technicians are regular features in the prayers of patients whose lives they save. Cicero aptly described doctors when he wrote, “In nothing do men more nearly approach the gods than in giving health to men.”
Sadly, the recent actions of protesting doctors, and specifically certain Young Doctors Association representatives at Pims, is more reminiscent of the old French proverb, “The doctor is often more to be feared than the disease.”
Historically, doctors take some form of oath, usually based on the Hippocratic Oath, in which they swear to practice medicine under certain ethical conditions. The Physicians Oath, which is part of the Geneva Declaration of the World Medical Association, includes, “I will practice my profession with conscience and dignity; the health of my patient will be my first consideration,” and, “I will not permit considerations of religion, nationality, race, party politics or social standing to intervene between my duty and my patient.”
Congratulations Pims YDA!
All of you have qualified for awards for the most apathetic doctors in the country.
Well blackmailing the government by using the sick and poor as bargaining chips already showed your lack of class. But that’s forgivable, since you were only dropping to the level of the opposing party. More important though, was the fact that in a formal application sent to the Capital Administration and Development Division and hospital administration, doctors gave a 48-hour ultimatum to the authorities to accept their demands (legitimate or not), “or the doctors [will] hold them responsible for any casualties that take place during the time services in critical units remain on hold.”
So hypothetically, if the deadline passed and anyone died at the hospital because the doctors are involved in a civil disobedience movement in which they are refusing to treat anyone for any reason, it will be the government’s fault?
While the rationalist may try to explain the specious reasoning this argument is based on, more reactionary people would probably be justified in thinking the doctors are full of something doctors like sending for diagnostic tests.
The Pims doctors only withdrew their threat after an ‘assurance’ from the prime minister. No apology for the problems they created for people. No remorse for their ‘drop-dead-for-all-I-care’ attitude. It’s all about the Benjamins (Jinnahs in this case) for these life-saving life-threatening doctors.
The doctors are strong-arming the government for more money and job security, based on the argument that they work a tough job. Maybe they should realise that doctors or not, there are literally millions of government employees who also work tough jobs and are paid a pittance in return. Teachers and lower staff from different departments protesting over wages is nothing new. Their demands are shot down (thankfully in metaphor only) based on the argument that the government can’t afford the added financial burden.
Unfortunately, when the government caved in to the doctors, it opened a Pandora’s Box, as those millions of employees now know that the government will treat threats of implicit violence as a negotiating tactic and will willingly negotiate while ignoring those threats. Now what moral right does the state have to deny anyone protesting in the streets an increment? What will happen if all the teachers in government schools start protesting? What will happen if the entire PIA or railways staff started protesting?
In 1981, air traffic controllers in the US went on strike demanding significant pay increases and fewer working hours. Though members of his staff encouraged President Ronald Reagan to cave in, he didn’t want to set a bad precedent and fired everyone who refused to cross the picket line.
Doctors are not irreplaceable, especially doctors who are willing to let patients die if it means some extra cash in their pockets. Medicine is a noble profession requiring dedication to work, not surreal examples of disregard for the value of human life.