Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Do they have a heart?

I came across a rather unpleasant bout of apathetic attitude residing among our doctors today. What happened was that this distant relative of ours complained of high BP and was taken to this amazingly posh cardio hospital in Defence on Sunday late night. They checked him out, did an ECG, looked at the ECG, concluded that it wasn't norrmal at all (there is this something called MI) *scowl*

So the doctor sahib was called, and he supremely informed them that he will be availabe shortly. The poor man (relative) was there in the hospital, for about 4-5 hours, without the amazing doctor turning up. Finally, one of the patient's family members pulled some strings, and got another doctor down there eventually. That doctor, after one look at the patient, declared an emergency angiography. They informed the family that it's just going to take them 15 minutes to do so.

What ultimately happened (oh so sadly) that the angiography simply couldn't be carried out. The patient's heart was so advanced in its failure, that the major coronary artery was completely blocked. They tried and tried to clear it (with er, guide wire), but it was blocked!

The angiography lasted 6 hours. They failed to clear the pathway .. :'(

Later on, Uncle was still okay, talking and everything.. but of course, what do you expect with a blocked coronary artery? :(

The lungs began filling with water, and the last image his wife saw of him when she peeked in the room, was a group of doctors trying hard to administer CPR and this person passed away late Monday night (yesterday night).

Everything, every trial is from Allah, and our belief is that the times of deaths and births are pre-written. So I will never say that IF that doctor had made it, Uncle would have made it. Never. But if that doctor had displayed some sense of responsibility, honesty... then maybe Uncle wouldn't have had to go theough the severe pain he endured because of the said doctor's negligence.

And now, the worst bit. The extreme apathetic attitude from the bunch of doctors/technicians (or I dunno WHICH people who stand besides the main doctor when surgery is going on).. Their comment was heard by one of Uncle's immediate family members,

"Abay yaaarrr... Agar marna hee thaa to 4 ghantay tak khwaar karaanay kee kiaa zaroorat thee !!"

(Man! If you only had to DIE in the end, why did you make us work on you for 4 hours damn!!)

:'( :'( :'(

Advice of the day:


Awais said...

Oh :( That is so horrible. I feel so bad :(

Reverse Swing said...

work ethics in Pakistan are getting worse and worse. Some how cheating and under performing is become a norm and don't feel ashamed of it and we never let go any chance of doing it weather it is a Govt. institute which are worse or a private organization.

we get salary for a specified amount of time for specific duties but we think getting salary is our biggest right but performing our duties is something secondary and under performing is also our right after all what they gave us a bunch if money at the end of month! but goddammit that money is given to your for some duties you are supposed to perform at your best of abilities.

We don't feel bad about it any more which is the worse stage. Somehow we are training our generations for it from the word GO, children learn it right from start of school or even before in every field of life they enter.

Our society needs an overhauling for at least 2 generations to set ethical norms.

Sony said...

Why would you say that he wouldn't have made it, even if the doctor turned up on time? If everything's pre-written, whats the logic in rushing him to the hospital? It wasn't pre-written then? I think its a complete hog wash. Your refusal to let this doctor take responsibility for this man's death (because of your belief) and then shifting it to something more milder like the doc being the cause of his "pain" in his last moments. etc

I mean... really? You dont think the doc had anything to do with his death? I understand that the doc may not have anything to do with the man getting the heart condition... but that's a different story.

Uni said...

Me too. It's a heartless thing to do.

@Reverse Swing
It sure is getting worse. And you are absolutely right, it starts from a school-college-going age..

The situation is getting worse, and I have no clue how to revamp it.. except I dunno, instruct our own children or something :S

Telling friends doesn't really work :) I'm usually laughed at... ..or honked at :P if I stop at the red light you know.

Thanks both for dropping by

Uni said...


Because we Muslims believe that the time of birth and death are in the Hands of God, not us. So like, we didn't decide the time we came into this planet :) And similarly, we have no say if we suddenly are diagnosed with Cancer, and er, die.

So I'm not saying that what the doctor did TOOK Uncle's life.. but.. Uncle would have passed away on that date and time only. BUT, the way he died, and the factors surrounding his death...and the role of docs, their responsibility, the attendants' weird heartless comments..etc..That's NOT pre-written... they did it with conscious thought..and they're going to be accountable for it (even if no system of suing works here and they're going to be free here)..

That's what I meant..

Thanks so much for reading :)

Sony said...


Well... there's no way of knowing that the Uncle would have passed away on that date and time right? You essentially determine that after the event, not before. Because the very act of rushing to the hospital, waiting for the doc, etc is acknowledging the fact that nothing is pre-written and quite open ended. Now when the doctor did not do his job and the uncle died on the operating table, when did it (his death) become all pre-written suddenly?

It simply looks like an excuse to accept and accommodate mediocrity/irresponsibility in the people around you.

Anonymous said...

This is outrageous... seriously. I'm so soory for your loss but the kind of attitude these doctors... Allah Ta'ala rehem kare because the kind of sensitivity we are showing not only towards our people all over the country... we will be rewarded for that.

Uni said...

Yes, of course.. these things aren't predetermined by US .. :S but when these out-of-our control events take place, and after they happen, we get to know that this was what was written as the end of a person's life.

Hence, as I said earlier, we won't say that had the doctor not neglected his duty, my Uncle would have survived

By saying this, we don't (and I repeat, don't) exonerate the negligent doctor ... of course not (how is HE to know that the patient is going to die beforehand..!!). It was his fault that he came late, operation was performed late, and there was a load of pain involved. The bit I'm probably not able to convey that well is.. that HAD the doctor done his duty (and we're speaking in retrospect right now), the death time wouldn't have changed... BUT there wouldn't be any hard/bitter feelings and as I said, lesser pain on the part of the patient.

From the point of view of the doctor, he didn't know (as didn't we) whether the patient was to live or die. SO he HAD to perform his duty no matter WHAT.. and thats how he IS blameable, and action SHOULD be taken against him..

So this belief of ours is certainly NOT (beyond a shadow of doubt), an excuse for people's irresponsibility. The doctor doesn't remain unblamed.. whatever our belief is.

Hope its clear now.

I agree. The attitude (apathetic) was what got to me too. And I hope to God that newer med students realise their responsibility and how each word they speak in the theatre (even as an observation group), MATTERS to the family involved.

Thanks both for dropping by :)

Sony said...

"... that HAD the doctor done his duty (and we're speaking in retrospect right now), the death time wouldn't have changed..."

How do you know that? If I were to zoom out and look at it from a larger perspective, it sounds like you are suggesting that no doctor anywhere in the world has ever saved a patient's live. Indeed they are just human painkillers whose job is to ease the pain of all those whose time "has come" :) and this doc did not do his job in easing the uncle's pain? If its just about the pain and suffering, who needs doctors? A shot of morphine or anesthetic (local or general) was all you needed. Guaranteed no pain... and all you have to do is wait for your painless death that's just around the corner (which is pre-written of course :). You see the contradiction I'm trying to get at?

Thee is something called a Criminally negligent manslaughter that should throw some light on the doctor's actions.

Uni said...

Er, I see that you don't really get this concept. Very simply speaking, human actions are not dependent on the outcomes that are pre-written. But since we don't KNOW the outcome, its obvious that we have to work tooth and nail for say, an exam (which we might not pass later on), docs have to workfight tooth and nail to save a life (but the person might die anyway) -- we have to work as hard and as honestly as we can. But what I was trying to say in the post (which you mistakenly think I'm absolving the doc's negligence or anything), is that the doctor IS at fault -- whatever the patient's condition was later on.

But since NOW we know the patient has passed away, we won't say that BECAUSE of the doc, he passed away. That would be like we're saying that the patient's life and death is in the hands of the doctor - it's not. But.. (and this is an important but), at the same time, we DO hold the doc responsible for not doing his duty (he had no way of knowing the outcome, right?). Yes, criminally negligent manslaughter. You won't find me disagreeing here. But unofrtunately, there is no such thing here in Pakistan (now the issue is our country and its shortcomings), as in, the family won't hope to gain anything anyway, and the doc will go on with his negligence.

Thanks for the comments.