© Dr. Rajas Deshpande
A court recently awarded a compensation of 12 crores to a patient because that’s what she would have earned if alive, as she held a job in the US. While human life is invaluable, there has to be a logic / discipline to such punishments. What compensation was ever awarded to the families of doctors injured / killed by patient’s relatives? Given that those docs would have saved many lives in their future careers, what does the Indian legal system hold the value of the dignity, career, disability and life of a doctor?
Death consequences in India:
If a politician kills someone, his whole party and the people, media houses favoured by his/ her party, and even police officers in his / her favour will stand by him / her. In cases of rapes and murders, there are umpteen examples where even police refuse to register cases because of political interference / influence. There are extremely rare examples of someone being debarred from making laws and participating in the running of country, even as criminal trials are on against them. They are not suspended or punished in 99% cases.
If anyone among the rich and glamorous drunk-drives over and kills people on the road, their whole profession (who usually pose as social icons) stands behind them, so does almost 90 percent of the media which glorifies the good deeds of such icons in defence of the deaths they have caused. The whole system machinery works as a deaf / dumb spectator to their blatant, laughable lies in the courts of law, and many from the society actually sing praises of their “glory”. They are not suspended or punished in 99% cases, in fact the legal systems ensure best humanitarian services for them.
No judges are suspended for a wrong decision.
The law, police etc. accept openly the presence of Mafia and goon houses, media glorifies the stories of daylight murders and bloodbaths by these for ransom etc., and we seldom see anyone even arrested. “Contract murders” are a blooming eventuality, so are gangrapes. No media glorifying crimes like rapes and murders are seen even reprimanded.
With even a little social uproar, compensations are paid for the dead or other victims, in a hope to suppress their agitation against the criminal.
Now come home to this:
If a patient dies while undergoing treatment and the relatives are upset/ illiterate / goons, they can beat up the doctors, even kill them. Doctors are immediately suspended without enquiry and their careers mostly end there.
While the earlier classes of “rich and powerful murderers” dance naked all over the country, the three classes of most stressed-out servicemen : doctors, military and police are completely neglected, the value of their life being zilch for the system and society alike.
Policemen dying while fighting with terrorists get lesser compensation than sportsmen get awards from the governments. Militarymen’s families live eternal poverty after their supreme sacrifice. And doctors who die while treating patients are not even acknowledged by our society or media.
People can see the same film twice, eat the same costly dessert twice, go on unnecessary vacations to enjoy just because they afford and like it, spend on petrol and internet without thinking twice. Many now go for “complete/ whole body check-ups” even when unnecessary, but when a doctor advises investigations or charges fees, they talk of malpractice. Then again, if there is a death in the hospital, the doctor is readily sacrificed, either in career or in life, without any compensation.
One part of this tragedy is some medical professionals itself who live in a “separate paradise”, talking what public and media likes, denying the reality, pretending “All is well” and declaring how proud they are of being in the current situation, where doctors are attacked and killed every other day. They are like the legendary saints who “missed the opportunity”.
But the saddest part of this tragedy is that our non-medical (and even some medical) social intellectuals choose to keep shut when it comes to the rich and powerful, but vomit poisonously and readily bare their fangs at the medical profession.
God help the Indian Doctor.
© Dr. Rajas Deshpande