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Need medical forum to exercise ethics

Need medical forum to exercise ethics
Highlights

A limited yet enthusiastic congregation was eager to get their copies of the medical fiction novel ‘Fatal Margin’ by Dr Umanath Nayak at the Landmark bookstore on Friday. Speaking at the launch, the cancer surgeon expressed how one can nurture one’s lateral talent despite having a busy schedule.

A limited yet enthusiastic congregation was eager to get their copies of the medical fiction novel ‘Fatal Margin’ by Dr Umanath Nayak at the Landmark bookstore on Friday. Speaking at the launch, the cancer surgeon expressed how one can nurture one’s lateral talent despite having a busy schedule. Heading to the interesting part now, the book launch was followed by a panel discussion on ‘modern’ medical ethics with panelists Dr Sudhakar Krishnamurthy, Dr Raghu Ram, Dr Rajagopal and director of the Hyderabad Literary Festival Vijay Kumar.

Besides the sensitive topic of modern medical ethics, what was gripping was that the audience was active in questioning the author and other panel members. As the author talked about the problems of doctors in multispecialty hospitals, I was curious to ask him how worse the conditions in rural and government hospitals could be? To my disappointment, Dr Nayak seemed least interested to answer the question, as he laughed away saying, “Do you want me to write a book on government hospitals now?” Well, no, Dr Nayak. I just expected a professional answer there, and the microphone didn’t come back to me.

The panellists: (From left) Dr Umanath Nayak, Dr Sudhakar Krishnamurthy, Dr Raghu Ram, Vijay Kumar and Dr Rajagopal

I still sat glued to my chair as another person from the crowd with grey hair pointed to the panelists that according to a study, around 33 lakh women in our country were found without uterus as they had undergone surgeries as suggested by doctors. “Absence of uterus amongst women as young as 19 and 20 is not a good thing. What medical ethics are these?” questioned Surya Prakash.

In answer, Dr Raghu Ram said that there was a need to introduce medical ethics in the syllabus in medical colleges to ensure that the frequency of such cases is brought down. A study says that most doctors don’t prescribe the same medicines to their family members as they do to other patients. This happens mostly with antibiotics. What about medical ethics here? What about the increasing prices of medicines and fading number of generic doctors? Dr Rajagopal says that there is a minority of black sheep in every profession and that doesn’t make the others bad.

Very true, but the sad part is that this minority is rapidly increasing, making medical access a distant dream for marginalised people. Further, a spectator explained how his father, suffering from cancer, underwent wrong treatment at a reputed multispecialty hospital. Dr Sudhakar Reddy was stiff on his point, saying that you always have a second and third option.

Well, Dr Sudhakar, the second and third options cost you more money and beyond that, the patient is suffering from cancer. He isn’t here for experimenting with hospitals. You just don’t appoint someone in a reputed hospital with a medical degree. It’s not about eligibility, it’s about employability. There is a need for medical ethics in the management of hospitals too. Perhaps, what is required the most is a medical forum, wherein the common man can get advice on the best hospitals and the best doctors.

By:Tushar Kalawatia

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