Thursday, 8 October 2009

When Trust is Betrayed....

Some days you encounter directly or indirectly, aspects of human behaviour that leaves you frustrated and angered. Yesterday was one such day. My friend's aunt who is suffering from cancer is once again in the hospital as a consequence of a situation that has occurred as a post-operative consequence. Since her surgeon has just left for a workshop to America, my friend is obliged to consult another doctor who is a urologist, advised to her by the core team who are treating the patient. This story till now should sound as though there is no problem, but unfortunately there is! This new doctor in question is openly sexually suggestive through body language and gesture with my friend, is verbally obnoxious and continuously attempts at all times to be overly personal by asking intimate questions related to subjects that lie no where within the realm of any connection to the issue of treating the patient. He chooses to visit the patient at strange hours like 11.30 pm (!) and if requested to inform when he will next visit, tells my friend to sit from morning and wait till whenever he decides he will drop by. Believe me there is no humor intended, but every intention to intimidate and sexually harass.

When it was reported to the hospital management it was brushed aside with the statement that this doctor who was misbehaving was "Rajput" and therefore was "used to behaving" in such a manner!!!!! The absurdity and outrageousness of this statement (which by assumption appears to brand all Rajputs to be behaving in inappropriate ways?!!!) clearly highlights that sexual misconduct is too often excused and, in this case, apparently permitted!

For a hospital in Baroda of such repute that has been established by an erstwhile industrialist whose contribution to the city is legendary, it is indeed sad that this attitude to whitewash gender misconduct is occurring. Instead of the hospital co-ordinator taking immediate action he choose instead appease my friend. That my friend is amply capable of taking care of herself is another issue, but does that mean then that it is therefore excusable that she is subjected to such humiliation and disrespect? My friend intends to take the matter up with higher authorities till this doctor is reprimanded.

I too have had my fair share of experiences where my trust in doctors have been betrayed by their ignoble attitudes and cheap intentions. I know of countries like America where there are hospitals and polyclinics that are completely staffed only by female doctors and nurses, and that this has originated precisely because of such occurrences where medical ethics has broken down, and predation in health care has therefore becomes a systemic disorder.

So anyone who violates you even in the slightest way in a hospital, where your body is exposed and needs to be viewed with clinical objectivity, do not tolerate it. Even an inappropriate gaze by a medical official is a huge breach of ethics. Report it immediately . And if like we are facing the situation is played down, insist that you inform as many people in authority as possible or write about it till it is out in the open and public, and something gets done about it.

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