New Delhi: It’s unethical for a doctor to refuse treatment to someone who needs it. So was it ethical for bariatric surgeon Dr Aparna Govil Bhasker to officially resigned from the team of doctors treating the world’s heaviest women Eman Ahmed who lost more than 300 kg after weight-loss surgery in March?
The trigger was Eman’s sister Shaimaa Selim criticizing the hospital and calling surgeon Dr Muffazal Lakdawala and the Saifee Hospital team “liars ” for putting “Eman on massive medication to stop her brain activity”.
Dr Lakdawala calls Dr Bhasker’s resignation a “symbolic protest’. “Dr Bhasker is very much with us and her so-called resignation is like a black-arm band. Dr Bhasker was with me when we went for the follow-up rounds at 10.30 in the morning today. We haven’t stopped her treatment; I am still her lead doctor who has not resigned even though her problem now mainly remains neurological, of which I am not an expert,” Dr Lakdawal told HT from Mumbai.
Shaimaa Selim u killed humanity with 1 swell blow may only God help u when u realise what u have done I will continue 2 treat & pray 4 Eman https://t.co/uoe5TSrvZU— Dr Muffi Lakdawala (@DrMuffi) April 24, 2017
Doctors don’t have the luxury of protesting, say senior doctors. “A doctor’s commitment to the patient is supreme and while patients’ families may express their dissatisfaction in different ways sometimes, as a professional doctors must rise above this,” says senior cardiologist Dr KK Talwar, former chairman, Medical Council of India (MCI).
“Counselling the families before surgery is a must. Doctors need to communicate to the patient and their family, especially in complicated cases, what to expect as no one recovers overnight.”
Dr Girish Tyagi, member, Delhi Medical Council (DMC), says, “A doctor who decides to quit treating his patient mid-way can be held accountable for professional misconduct.”
Truth shall eventually prevail . It's like the sun u try and cover it as much as u want it will shine thru & burn your hands in the process pic.twitter.com/6HbwvX0Sgr— Dr Muffi Lakdawala (@DrMuffi) April 25, 2017
“We don’t want to stoop to her sister’s level and will continue to treat her even though she has been bad-mouthing us. Dr Bhaskar was with her for 12 continuous days, planning her treatment, and not worrying about her 3-year-old child.”
Eman weighed about 500 kg, and underwent bariatric (weight-loss) surgery at the hospital in March.
“We had clearly explained to the family that she would need treatment in phases. She now requires rehab for her neurological condition. She has done miraculously well, and we have the medical records to back our claim. Hers is rhetoric, ours are facts, he says.