By Jareer Ahsan
I know I may get heavily criticized for writing this, but I can’t remain silent anymore. I recognize that the grief is immense and I cannot claim to possibly comprehend it. But I severely deplore the acts of vengeance against doctors being purported as justice. There is a huge difference between manslaughter and murder, the former done without the will to do so. Yet it was indeed criminal negligence on the part of accused doctor and the hospital for employing that doctor. But sadly, this is not the only hospital in Pakistan where such unfortunate incidents occur. Having the class attitude we have, we (the internet or media evangelists) fail to publicize countless such incidents in Public Hospitals and smaller clinics across Pakistan occurring almost daily. Why? Because the victims are generally too poor to own a website or protest on billboards. And we (the same evangelists) want the tragedy served on our convenient plates.
Secondly, such unfortunate events are not limited only to Pakistan. Malpractices exist across the globe though admittedly with far less frequency in developed world. However, not a single hospital on earth can boast a zero possibility of such incidents. After all, inconvenient as may it seem, doctors too are nothing but humans. And that is exactly why hospitals have legal departments. Hospitals get sued in courts, the license of the doctor gets revoked after a medical investigation, but there is hardly a call to shut down a Hospital. If such a call is valid, then lets be fair for once and call for the closure of all hospitals of Pakistan, if not of the world. To be extremely objective though it should have been avoided, can somebody provide me the tally of such incidents against all other operations which did not include malpractice at Doctor’s Hospital? And what alternate would you suggest after its closure in this God forsaken country where medical facilities are already more scarce than imagined by us (the same evangelists).
When you strive, you should strive for everyone, even the doctors. Look for a system change, better more stringent policies to decrease the possibility of such events. And please do not harass doctors, they already have far more burdened life than most of us can possibly imagine, e.g. we all make mistakes in our professions, but doctors can’t. They are already living on the edge, don’t make it hard on them any further. The more you generalize, the more harm you cause. The latest episode of Wasim Akram’s media campaign against 19 doctors and getting their licenses revoked is the exploitative result of our collective evangelism. We should be very specific about where we stand and why!
For the record, I am a software engg and none of my family members is a doctor or even remotely related to Doctor’s Hospital (though I did live for a couple of years in the street behind it and despise it for being extremely expensive but that is completely personal)