Hippocrates or Hypocrites? The Morality Behind Medicine

Doctors are routinely praised as gods for their successes and, at the same time, hated as villains for their failures. This hatred is what we’d like to focus on in this post.

A wave of turmoil has thus taken over West Bengal and major sections of the country over the safety of medical practitioners. Protests are being held by the Indian Medical Association and various other groups advocating for the increased protection of doctors.

The disregard shown towards the safety of doctors creates a highly volatile situation that impacts both patients and medical professionals alike. When they pledge the Hippocratic Oath, doctors vow to maintain the highest standards of ethics when practicing medicine. Patients, however, take no such pledge. We see doctors all over the country being subjected to both mental and physical abuse for failing to live up to patients’ expectations. What follows, is real apprehension and fear in carrying out their jobs.

The rules, policies, and resources that control the medical industry severely limit a doctor’s ability to address patients. The sub par infrastructure, rude hospital personnel, and lack of medical training in basic conversation technique all lead to patients and relatives getting excessively agitated. Despite being out of the doctors’ control, these factors have led to the constant persecution of the medical fraternity and endangered their well being.

These concerns have been labelled as ‘unmerited’ by various institutions. The government and the Supreme Court’s stance on these issues has been downright indifferent. They have only intervened when the protests seem to have crippled the patient community across the country. However, we still see several doctors break their stand to provide medical care for those in need. Their prioritization of someone’s life over their own demands for safety clearly shows that the fraternity hasn’t completely turned a blind eye to those in need of medical care.

The need of the hour is for the public to not turn a blind eye to the issues faced by the medical community and to put pressure on government agencies to take note of these demands. A holistic environment needs to be created, one that is capable of reducing the mistreatment of both doctors and patients. At the end of the day, we are all on the same team, the team for humanity, right?

Author – Ayush Chadha
Ayush Chadha is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts & Bachelor of Legislative Law at Symbiosis Law School, Pune and is currently in his 5th Year. He also enjoys working in creative fields such as Graphic Design. He believes in voicing opinions on issues marred by red-tapism and social prejudices. He is interested in the gaps between the legal framework and the social issues which are too obscure to be dealt by it.
Doodle Credits – Aradhya Singh 
Aradhya Singh is currently pursuing Fashion Communication from National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi and is currently in 2nd Year. She is a fun person to be around and doodles difficult social situations to raise important dialogues.


1 Comment

  1. Sukhvinder Singh, 9899690329

    June 22, 2019 at 8:01 am

    Well said..
    What I feel is that, in order to fill this existing gap of Doctors and Patients communication/agenda, we need to see this problem with an even below the line perspective. By below the line, I mean, a stage where the patient and doctors are learned enough to understand the medical language and the general conversation pertaining to that. Let us draw a line for public and doctor who do not qualify on this line, we keep them below this line. Now, we have a clear situation, the existing below the line masses(Doctors and Public)

    I feel some one like a team of Ombudsman in every Hospital and other public places, who themselves are above the line and further experts in handling the situations and pressures like these, keeping both the ends in balance. This is important at a current state where the problem is existing today. These Ombudsman can be derived from the increasing Ex-serviceman population of the country and via special training/education exercises, They are the best suited for this roles. As they have already gone through these situations in life and are experienced enough to understand and handle them both. Also either of the two, the doctor and patients/public will surely listen to them as they are from the elderly segment of the society and also the inherent culture of our country to treat elderly people with regard and respect comes to play. So both will listen and understand what the ombudsman will say.

    Simultaneously, We should have a full scale emergency drive on the ground level i.e. schools level. to educate the young generation, the real life norms of Hospitalisation, banking, public places, places of worship, markets etc. etc. from a newer perspective. What is being taught currently is old school. We need newer fresher, up-to-date curriculum for the younger generation. For this, we must accept the fact that this generation is too busy catching up with the world that they are not able to do good feed to their children at home and schools are the best place for this. Also, I believe, even if we have to sacrifice chapters or a subject in lieu of this education, we must do it.
    I am sure, in the coming 5-10 years the change will be visible and felt across the nation.
    Good job keep it up

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