Refusing to treat sick child  

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No society must become so heartless that those relied on could refuse to render service to another when in need and the people stay silent The story of the doctor from the Mabaruma Hospital, who reportedly refused to treat a sick child because of a post his mother made on social media earlier this year, should have only have happened in a barbaric society. That seven-year-old patient, regardless of what his mother said on social media, should not have prevented the doctor from rendering care and protecting the humanity of his profession.

Doctors are not expected to bear personal grudges in the discharge of their duties, including providing care to their enemies if fate has it that they encounter that person in need of care. Saving lives and taking care of others should be uppermost in the minds of physicians. When a doctor could refuse to treat a patient because this professional had his feelings hurt is a disregard for the profession. It also suggests that professionals could easily cast aside the ethics of their profession based on hurt feeling or bruised ego. This is not what the medical profession or any profession should stand for. This is an issue worthy of being investigated by the relevant authority (ies).

It is not sufficient for the doctor to be transferred without being held accountable. Transferring the professional does not mean professional conduct will determine the way any future patient could be treated by him if he is offended.  Society could only imagine what if that child’s condition required immediate care, and whether the denial of care could have affected the health of the child one way or the other.

A grievance with the mother does in no way, shape or form justifies disregarding the ethics of the medical profession, the right of the child to care, and the duty of the mother to access and receive such care for her child. There has been a breakdown of so many factors and the Ministry of Health, likewise the Ministry of Human Service and Social Security should conduct an investigation into the incident.

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It is simply not good enough effecting a transfer without understanding what happened, seeking to assure the public that there will never be such a reoccurrence, and have the public know what action (s) was/were taken to hold the doctor accountable for stomping on the most basic aspect of his profession, i.e. provide care when approached or seeing a person in need of care and ignoring him/her. It is more acceptable to deal with a problem not to transfer a problem because transferral does not prevent a repeat of the problem and brings into disrepute the patient/doctor relationship and care.



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