media and doctors 


If I would not have heard this story on my own, I wouldn’t be ashamed to be a journalist as I was two days ago. A doctor told me this real story and since then I am feeling like I should be ashamed and pity myself for all my life. Sometimes you are not aware of the things happening in your profession. Sometimes they unfold as gentle as a silk and sometimes as a bundle of a barbed wire. We had gone to Kanha National Park for Tiger Safari. In our excursion group we had a doctor from Jabalpur. As soon as we reached Kanha, heavy downpour began and electricity went off. We were sitting in the verandah of our guest house, listening to deer and barasingha bleating. I and this doctor picked up a conversation about professions. Me a reporter and this doctor from Jabalpur, started sharing our experiences. What I heard next was the biggest blow to my ego and my face went down in shame, maybe forever. Doctor was narrating the story. “I am a pediatrician. For some people, it has become a habit to abuse doctors, as it earns a cheap applaud from the rest of the society. If your patient recovers you are a god! Else you are a demon! Even in your TV and newspaper you put all your creative efforts to create a headline like “Doctor turned killer!” “Doctors or dacoits” and much more. Do you really investigate in depth about the authenticity of the news you ae publishing? Do you really take the pain to dig deeper for the truth behind the story sent to you by your reporter? I requested him to share the full story with me. “We treat many thalassemia patients in our hospital. As you know, these patients require repeated blood transfusion in regular interval. Many times we manage blood from the relatives of the patient, sometimes we get no donor even for the transfusion. For some patients, the frequency of transfusion is so high that their relatives even give up and refuse to donate anymore. In this context, I would like to mention about a child from Jabalpur who used to come to our hospital often for the treatment of thalassemia. Once my health was not good and I was on leave. At that time the child was brought to our hospital in an emergency. The child was in need of blood. Blood had to be replaced immediately. None of his family members were ready to give blood. Even before anyone had not given him blood. Our hospital would arrange blood for that child. Frankly, the entire hospital was in love with that baby and we were attached emotionally to him. On that day, when he was brought to the hospital, his condition was very serious. One of our lady doctors was taking care of that child. The child’s condition was deteriorating. He was admitted immediately. But unfortunately, we couldn’t save the child. After the death of the child in the hospital, his relatives were shocked and they created a scene. They approached the media and told that the child was given the wrong blood. These reports were published in newspapers. Because of this, the entire medical career of the doctor was destroyed. What happened next will explain later. But for now, it is important to note that the doctor had a media trial. After a couple of days when my health was good, I reached the hospital. I called the father of that child and spoke to him. His father said that he was not knowing from where the blood was brought up. My child died because of the wrong blood. I was listening to him quietly. I asked him that your child had received blood from this hospital number of times, but do you know where from that blood comes? He was stunned. Have you or any of your family members ever had donated blood for your child? He remained silent. You should know that till now mankind has not learned how to make blood. Whenever the need of blood arises it is given from someone else. We take blood from the relatives of the patient. But when they cannot donate their blood and the condition of the patient is grave, we turn to the blood banks. But when the blood banks are unable to provide us blood, we doctors give our own blood to the patient. You or any of your family members have never given a single drop of blood till date, while your child is given blood every fifteen days. They were listening to me quietly. “Listen sir, this time the blood that was given to your child, it was from one of those doctors, because of whom your child was alive for so many years. The blood of that very doctor was used to be given to your child on whom you had made allegations of negligence, eventually ruining her medical career by media trial. That lady doctor was donating her blood to your child ever since your child started visiting us. I don’t know why but she was very affectionate towards your child. Some years ago, when you came here for the first time and your child was not able to get any matching blood donor; at that time the lady doctor had conducted her blood test. Your child’s and the doctor’s blood group matched. The other day also when you came in the emergency, she was the one who gave her blood. Her blood was already examined. The situation was grave, your child could not survive. But you created a ruckus without even knowing the entire situation. You made false allegations on that very doctor who looked after your child as a mother, not as a doctor.” The doctor got silent after saying this. I was trying hard to hide my face from the doctor so that he could not see my emotions in the brightness of the light. I had read that report earlier. I could recall that a news had been published about the death of the child due to the doctor’s negligence. I cursed the doctors a lot. I even compared them to an executioner. I used to have a strong feeling that these doctors don’t value anything over money. This was a government hospital, but I too had said that the doctors in a government hospital are really lazy and apathetic. They are devoid of any feelings for the patient. What not had I thought! But all of my thoughts were baseless. I had just formed an opinion based on a one-sided report. The other side of the story was now revealed to me. I asked the doctor, “What happened then?” The doctor answered, “What else could happen? The doctor had to face a lot of trouble and was mentally harassed. She had to leave the medical college as well as the town. The child’s father felt really embarrassed after listening to all this. He realized that he had committed a big mistake unknowingly. He had been unaware all this time as to where from the doctors had been arranging blood for his child all this time which had kept him alive and in good spirits. But nothing could be done now. Time had swept out of his hands swiftly.” It is very important to realize that there are both good and bad people in this world. Not all people in the world are bad, in the same manner as not all are good. But before spoiling someone’s hard-earned reputation, it becomes very crucial to know the truth behind the happenings. It is not denying the fact that the child had died that day, but it is also true that the lady doctor who had faced allegations for this mishap also died a bit inside. Quoted from a write-up from Mr. Snajay Sinha from Aaj Tak

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