New Turns


By M.C. Linthoingambee

There is a lot of work put into when a person trains to become a doctor, breaking down at the operation table, fainting at the first sight of blood, going over the long encyclopedias of the Harrison Medical Journals, etc. I should know this considering most of my friends are studying to be one or owing to the long hours I spent with my friends chatting away in the Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi where I had been fortunate to see the crumbling ruins of a government run hospital where the buildings are often spooked with seepage problems, where people lay outside in the wake of insufficient blankets, where the scent of hospital often gets to us and make us feel a little nauseous all the way. And mind it, let us not forget the urban legends and folk lore of ghost tales that revolves around the medical college grounds. This is how I see them, perfect yet so ordinary in so many ways. The posture of the white gown carries a certain weight that lightens the sickness and pain that we experience before reaching a hospital.

But there are results which often neglect the causes of the same  Hippocratic Oath  that doctors take or the struggles that they bared. In the recent years, there is an overall outrage over the nature of consultations with many cases of expecting mothers losing their lives while delivering children. In most such cases, the common voice is that the intsnces take place because of a lacl of proper post natal medical attention.

There has been talks of the various Government run hospital in Manipur along with private owned entities becoming a deadly ground for expecting mothers in the process of their delivery or in the process of recovering from their pregnancy. With a countless number of cases citing negligent medical care being registered almost often with the hospital staff, it is now time to question their role. In December last year, 25 year old, Irengbam Sandhyanrani was declared dead after she was bought to a Governenment run and managed hospital again and undergoing a second operation when she complained of pains in her stomach after her discharge from delivering a baby through a caesarian operation. This is one of out many such cases. So, what really went wrong? While concentrating through the series of *Grey`s Anatomy* (a drama on the lives of the medical staff of the Seattle Grace Hospital) I came across a certain obligation which a doctor has to carry out well, which was to tell the families and friends of a dying patient what went wrong. This is a foreclosure that we need to depend on for so often, we see those very medical practitioners running away from the scene.  In the theories of the Medical Jurisprudence, there are very distinct relationships between a doctor and his patient owing to the duty of care, the agreement of confidentiality, etc. It is when such responsibilities are taken for granted that the public feels wronged. So, why run? It is better to own up to something wrong rather than running away from it.

In the advent of law, the doctor and his patient shares the relationship of a consumer and a producer in the manner where the doctor owes a duty to affirm the duty to carry out all his functions of a doctor during the time when the patient is under his observation through the courses of the Consumer Protection Act.  But in the trivial nature, the theory are not viewed in equal importance as that of reality where one party often ends up breaching the contracts of the term as per the agreement provided for during admittance to a particular hospital. Medical Negligence is becoming a current issue where a medical practitioner often neglects his role and performs duties sideways. There are penalties involved with these incoherent actions. One general rule is not sufficient and therefore, there has been many legislations looking after the nature of transplantation of organs, penalties for reckless delivery of duty to care as a doctor, etc. Does the rule of Right to Life only apply to some? No, it is a fundamental right equal for all persons to get the rightful claim of remedy from any case of Medical Negligence. Disappearing in the series of the Act is not being righteous but deciding and knowing what is best for his patients is a true medical practitioner. It is defined in Section 2 of the Indian Medical Councils Act.

The measures of developing the safety of public health is a major issue worldwide with the World Health Organizations working manifold to eradicate some likely curable deformities like polio, malnutrition etc. by aiding to any country`s perspective of delivering the advances of technology in various fields. Once there was a tribal man who looked after the whole village through his self developed medicines and practice. Today, we have the advancing treatments of alive operation, stand still operation, stem cell therapy, chemo therapy, etc which our forefathers could have only hoped. Saving a person till the point of no return is a common goal and it is our safety blanket to hope that someone out there would save you even if you go through something bad.

The pride of a medical practitioner is dependent upon his patients` safe recovery or delivery. This a confirmed duty which owes for the most part in that little healing touch which feels like drinking water from the fountain of life.

(M.C. Linthoingambee is an undergraduate pursuing B.Com. LL.B(H). An avid blogger, poet, a seasonal artist and a foodie, she is also a life member to the Indian Society of the Red Cross.)


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