4 min read.Updated: 17 Jun 2019, 10:51 PM ISTMarkandey Katju
To regain social respect, doctors in India should take inspiration from the life of Dr. Dwarkanath Kotnis
Doctors in several hospitals across India are agitating for security after two interns in a Kolkata hospital were beaten up following the death of an old patient. The patient’s relatives were of the opinion that the death was because of doctors’ negligence. While one must condemn violence on doctors, it is also time for doctors in India to introspect. In an article titled White Coated Corruption published in the Indian Journal Of Medical Ethics, Vijay Mahajan writes, “India is said to have one of the most corrupt medical systems in the whole world. The situation has become so bad that patients today approach doctors with mixed feelings—of faith and fear, of hope and hostility." Mahajan offers details showing how greed for money and utter callousness afflict a large section of the medical profession. While there are many upright doctors, no doubt, others have no ethics, some heartlessly fleecing patients, prescribing unnecessary drugs hand in glove with pharmaceutical companies, performing unnecessary operations, as highlighted in George Bernard Shaw’s play Doctor’s Dilemma, and even indulging in the illegal organ trade , as depicted in Robin Cook’s novel Coma. No wonder that a large section of Indians have no respect for doctors, a few even resorting to violence against them.