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Friday, August 20, 2004

Doctors and God

What is it about doctors who are so eager to play God? Who gives doctors the right to decide on a patient's life? I hate it when doctors decide to play God for all time. When they decide to slip in a DNAR (do not attempt resuscitation) in the patient's file during ward rounds. Whether the patient is compos mentis or not does not matter. Whether the family and relatives are consulted or not is not an issue. There is no such thing as informed decision-making. Essentially, the patient does not know. He is deemed not worthy enought to save. Even when someone (from the team) attempts to protest against it, the consultant just waves it off, and moves on to the next patient.

As doctors, we are meant to help people. Not to decide for them if their life is worth living or not. Why do we enjoy playing God? Why do we have to play God in the first place? Does it give such a sense of power? Why not let fate decide its natural course for the person? Why is it so difficult to admit one's mistakes, more so when you're a doctor? Because of professional 'responsibilities'? Because the patient loses faith, trust in you? Because you lose that in yourself? We are, after all, human beings. To be human is to err. Why can't the medical profession accept that? Why can't the patients, the public accept that?

Damn it. Maybe I'm in the wrong profession. Or maybe I'm in the wrong timeframe/era. Hmm.. I think I might have just opened a can of worms. Oops...