Rakesh Lajpatrai Agrawal for BeyondHeadlines
Doctors, Physicians and Healthcare professionals swear to practice medicine honestly to uphold high moral, professional and ethical standards with utmost dedication. Everyone will agree that they are in a divine profession of healing the world. They practice generosity by relieving health related misery, sorrow and pain of their patients for which they have every right to charge a professional fee ethically without any commercial exploitation.
Unfortunately, certain Doctors do adopt various immoral and unethical standards to commercially exploit this noble profession by subjecting their patients to suffer more:
1. By prescribing Medical Tests / Investigations when they are not required.
2. By referring them to Consultants when it is not required.
3. By performing Surgery when it can be avoided or not required.
4. By prescribing costly medicine of certain brands due to their proximity to the Pharma Companies.
5. By inflating Medical bills of the patients having Mediclaim Insurance.
Such acts have created a vacuum of credibility and disrespect in the eyes of many towards this divine profession which is disheartening and painful. This has compelled me to make an honest attempt to fill the said vacuum with a positive frame of mind towards doctors.
For this I would like to share my heart-warming and wonderful experience with some of the doctors which may be instrumental in focusing your kind attention with a positive frame of mind towards the medical profession.
In the year 1986, I came in contact with Dr. Kewal G. Aggarwal when I shifted my residence to Malad. Very soon I realized that I have not only discovered a thorough professional but also a person with very high humane values who was ready to help any deserving under-privileged in whatever manner possible for him. How can I forget that he was more than available to encourage me whenever I required his help to support some deserving person?
With the passing of the time, he became my best friend. Unfortunately, God created a very big vacuum by taking him away from my life. I have no words to express my gratitude to this noble soul for the self-less support extended by him to look after my mother’s friend who is an old, ailing widow, disowned by her relatives and staying with me.
After his shocking untimely demise, I paid my tribute to him by writing an obituary which is very personal. However, I am releasing the same, for the Society to read and feel the respect my doctor friend had earned by his unforgettable eternal deeds.
“When God created you with so many qualities, he was very well aware that he has created a pleasing eternal personality whom every body will cherish for years to come. He assigned his work towards humanity to you and you blossomed and nourished his wish by helping everybody around you without caring for your personal health. You were one of the very few blessed by God to experience beautiful feelings of relieving pain, sorrow and worries of the others. I salute your lovely journey my dear friend.
You were active in your assigned work by God till the last moment of your life but I fail to understand that when you were busy in the act of providing relief to everybody, why God had to take you away and create such a big vacuum for years to come in everybody’s life? I feel that I am too small a person to understand as to why God created this vacuum by your untimely demise when you were performing and justifying his creation in every manner. Time and again we have experienced that when a person dies he does not carry anything with him but I have a strong feeling that when I go, God will allow me to carry our friendship by giving me an opportunity to see you in your beautiful new BIGGER AVTAR which he must have definitely assigned to you for the betterment of mankind.”
After his unfortunate demise, I was very much worried and obsessed with the misnomer that henceforth I should get accustomed to be exploited by doctors. However, very soon I realized that I was wrong and fortunate enough to get Dr. Nitin Pandit as our new family physician to look after my Aunt with utmost professional sincerity. He graciously accepted my request to see her on compassionate ground, though he is not available for home visit.
I also greatly admire the young, humble and unforgettable gem Dr. Sushant Shinde MD (AIIMS), ‘Consultant Physician & Rheumatologist’ whom I met for the first time just recently. He has been instrumental in inspiring me to write this article for doctors due to his unusual help and compassionate remarks which touched my soul.
Consultant doctors are generally not available for home visit. Since my Aunt is bed ridden and was repeatedly getting fever, Dr. Pandit requested Dr. Shinde for a home visit which he graciously accepted. After visiting my residence, he examined her in detail and gave his professional advice. However, while leaving when I asked him about his consultancy fee, he refused to accept any money. He said “when you can do so much, let me do little for her”.
When I insisted, he politely said, “Please do not embarrass me.” Subsequently I had to admit her to the hospital for four days under his care. On going through the hospital bill, I was surprised to realize that Dr. Shinde had again not charged any fee. I requested him to charge by explaining that the day it becomes difficult for me to afford her treatment, I will certainly request him not to charge. He humbly asked me not to misunderstand him for not charging his fee. He said that he knew I could afford his fees but that he is learning to adopt certain humane values from me. He gently requested me to allow him to enjoy this experience of generosity.
His beautiful comments made me speechless and also educated me to understand the circumstances under which a person may adopt humane values after noticing someone’s act of helping the under-privileged. In fact you may hesitate to underscore or project your act of helping someone but by doing so you may motivate and encourage people to act in a sympathetic way towards the deserving under-privileged in our Society.
Frankly speaking, during your life time you may have come across some selfish people in other fields who may have deliberately treated you unfairly by extracting undue benefits from you. Unfortunately, such selfish people are present in every part of our society. Forget strangers, you may have experienced the same from your very near and dear ones who may have exploited you commercially for their personal benefit but with a broken heart you may have surrendered yourself to be exploited out of compulsion as you had no choice.
I strongly feel that nature has its own sense of justice and fairness and without any choice one has to repay the same in some form or the other during one’s life-time. Therefore I request you to leave something to the nature and make an honest appeal to the entire Society to ignore the misnomer against Medical Professionals and to have a positive frame of mind for them. Likewise to restore the basic fabric of trust, I also appeal to the Doctors to honour their commitment to the Society by desisting from adopting unethical standards. The commercial exploitation will give you only materialistic happiness but when you sincerely introspect, you will find that the nature has recovered more by taking away some happiness & peace of mind from your life.