All patients deserve treatment regardless of their life choices

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Dear Editor,

I’m very intolerant of characters who proffer a position that they know not of. For there is one such person, who takes great pleasure and arrogance, in tagging inconsequential titles to his name, giving the impression that scholarly he is, but scholarly has never known him.

For the character in question identifies, insinuates and arrogates by the name and title, Hajji Dr. Roshan Khan. Indeed, the Hajji communicates that pilgrimage he has paid at Mecca, hence such is his religious prerogative to prefix his name, which I do respect.

But the title of doctor that is permanently glued to his name, has caused me great concern, for honorific it’s and shouldn’t be abused the way many like him do. Indeed the unaware may interpret his uninformative drivel and glued title, as the scribbles of a medical doctor, which he isn’t since scholarly he is not.


For this drivel which was authored by said character of caption, “Pay for Covid-19 treatment if vaccines refused,”  was forwarded to my inbox to peruse, interpret and opinion on. In fact, my immediate impression was that Hajji Roshan Khan was better served maintaining his silence and ignorance but by opening his mouth, much was made public for the umpteen time. For his voluminous drivel hogwash of epic proportions, was of no demonstrable forethought or afterthought. But admit I must, which is known, Hajji Roshan Khan isn’t my intellectual equal, far from it, for a minuscule of commonsense and brain cells exceeding two, was all that was required to recognise the folly in such a scribbled proposition.

For his drivel exposed his ignorance of medical ethics and human rights along with the dangers of prefixing doctor to one’s name when it was not earned. As a matter of fact, medical ethics have informed with this and other such dilemma, that bonafied doctors should treat the patients’ malady not being prejudiced by their lifestyle. Surely, someone burdened by lung smoker from decades of smoking, treatment cannot be denied. Certainly, the alcoholic exceeding his units per week should not be penalised if cirrhosis he now struggles with. And the lady of the night infected with HIV most certainly should be offered antivirals. In fact, the speeding driver with serious head injuries should not be sent home to die. And mostly certainly, the obese man with a massive heart attack cannot be shipped home with his severe chest pain to suffer a painful death. Likewise the anorexic who sees food as the enemy cannot be sent home to die from a cardiac arrhythmia because of electrolyte disturbance. For these of many were highlighted, since to varying extents the patients’ have brought the maladies onto themselves but bonafied doctors trained in medical ethic and guided by the Hippocratic oath would never deny them or the Covid-19 unvaccinated treatment.

The fact is, casting a medical eye on Hajji Roshan Khan, what strikes me is, he is walking heart attack. For his obesity stands out, moreso central obesity which a major risk factor for a heart attack. And from this simple observation, much can be inferred from his lifestyle vis-a-vis he doesn’t excercise and he exceeds his calorific limits. Thus, this leads me to the obvious question. If Hajji Roshan Khan collapses with heart attack, Allah forbids, should he be turned away from the hospital?

For this I must repeat to emphasise. No patient presenting to any hospital in the world should be turned away because of their life choices, because to do so is to go down a spiralling ethical slippery slope. Thus for Hajji Roshan Khan to propose such foolery has highlighted the fact that money can’t buy intelligence or commonsense.

But this preposterous proposition must be further deconstructed, for which hypothetical I will be. An unvaccinated Covid-19 person presents at the Hospital for treatment. From Hajji Roshan Khan’s decree, said patient should pay but like over 99% of Guyanese, he can’t. Abiding by Hajji Roshan Khan decree, the gentleman was sent home. Hajji Roshan Khan of a big mouth and a little brain celebrates on social media, failing to recognise that by not treating the gentleman, he has returned him to a community to infect others, and if they too go untreated to infect many more hence placing a heavy burden on the fragile and archaic healthcare system.

And with that I will draw the curtains, having exposed the intellectual chasm between the honorary doctor and the bonafied doctor. Moreso, I’ve exposed the dangers of the honorary doctor masquerading as a medical doctor.

Dr. Mark Devonish MBBS MSc Med. ed. FRCP(Edin) FRCP
Consultant Acute Medicine
Nottingham University Hospital

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