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Doctors and Patients: A salubrious balance needed

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Bishaldeep Kakati

Not every individual living in this world possesses this unique quality or trait to come up or to develop within himself/herself the imperative skill of treating a person suffering from an ailment or malady in such a way, that not only the person is cured physically but also his/her mental strength and wellness gets a gigantic boast of positivity and healthy vibes. And those individuals who acquire this live-saving quality through their constant hard work and dedication are known as none other than the ‘doctors’. A profession that has a lot of respect and endearment in society as because even the flat line of an insensate heart can be revived again using different techniques by doctors only. So, if the ceased heartbeat of a person can be reinstituted again, then the person supposed to be in his last stage can wake up to be fit and sound once more. So doctor’s impact in the society is as vibrant as the sunlight that regenerates new horizon of surplus positivity among people. Hence someone quite rightly said, “Doctors are no less than deities whose reassuring words are sometimes more powerful than medicines.”

However, the talk is not about what a doctor brings to society, or about the hopes and aspirations that reside in people’s mind from a doctor rather the deliberation would be to bring into focus the prime reasons regarding the major imbalance that has crept up in the doctor-patient relationship, making it one of the most blabbered and controversial topics in recent times.

Well in the initial part of this discussion a lucid description of a doctor-patient relationship was intentionally brought in to show as to how the same relationship should work or drive in society in order to maintain a salubrious balance between the two groups. But of late, unfortunately this balance has been fragmented into many parts, giving rise to many disputes and wrangles between the two sides.

If we deeply try to analyse the core reasons behind these incessant wrangles, we will definitely understand that these disputes are occurring frequently only because both the parties are more or less committing one or the other heinous acts that cannot be accepted at any cost. Hence we would first try to know about the reprehensible deeds that are done by both the parties and then confabulate about solutions that could resolve the prevailing predicaments.

Coming back to medical science, each and every physician after getting their MBBS degree has to undertake the ‘Hippocratic Oath’. And a part of the ‘Hippocratic Oath’ states that a doctor must treat his patients with all his knowledge and judgment without ignoring, and also must abstain from all the intentional wrongdoings and actions. But much to the disappointment, a group of doctors is doing exactly the opposite of what the ‘Hippocratic Oath’ stated way back.

In one of the recent shows that was aired in a private news channel, a similar discussion was held to bring into attention the misleading acts of a group of doctors whose utter ignorance towards their patients was the core reason behind their death. In that show itself, a lady said that the absence of a senior renowned doctor (whom she called many a time to cure her child) was consequential for the death of her juvenile. On the other hand, an eminent journalist said that doctors’ failure to provide his wife the basic first aid necessities proved to be costly, as it took away the life of his beloved partner. And such cases have become very common which we find occurring at a rapid rate.

Secondly, there are also numerous cases of doctors’ wrong treatment that caused serious issues to a person’s health. There is an instance, where a doctor diagnosed a patient with tuberculosis prescribing him with high dosages of streptomycin, but when proper investigations were done it was found that the person was rather suffering from avitaminosis and not tuberculosis. So in that scenario, the high dosages of the antibiotic were instrumental in causing severe dehydration in the patient.

On the other way round, there are also cases where threats to a patient’s life were carried by the insincere works of surgeons. Cases like lacerating the intestine while removing the appendix, stitching a person’s gut keeping the surgical gloves inside it or making a person go completely blind while doing ophthalmic operations etc are very common to descry which don’t give rise to a healthy and sound situation. Moreover, cases of homeopathic doctors prescribing allopathic drugs without proper knowledge is only worsening the scenario making the poor patients suffer even to a greater degree.

So all these facts definitely raise a question in front of a group of doctors: whether they are saving our lives or pushing us to our death beds?

Further, all these blunders done by a section of doctors are instigating the members of the patients’ family who are forced to suffer, to do some heinous crimes like beating the doctor blue and black or almost to death, smashing the glass and window panes of the hospital or involving themselves in one or the other form of vandalism. However, even such acts done by the family members of certain patients’ cannot be accepted at all.

Therefore, a salubrious balance between both the groups must be established at the earliest.

In order to establish this balance, a group of doctors must realize that they should become more professional, more oriented towards serving their patients rather than blowing their won trumpet of goodness. Although it is said that, “To err is human”, but the doctors should understand that to err every single time while saving a patient’s life is something that the society would never accept as it has the risk of taking away a person’s life.

On the other hand, members of the patients’ family should also apprehend the fact that doctors are not deities that can even alter the natural death of a person, and hence every time a person dies, a doctor should not be at the receiving end of their anger and agitation. But if a wrong treatment is done, then they should definitely proceed in a legal way.

Therefore, it’s time, a group of doctors and patients realized their mistakes, change their unacceptable behaviour and attitudes and try to bridge the gap between them, and then only we would descry a salubrious balance between doctors and patients to flourish once again, which at present remains the need of the hour for a better society.