Thursday, June 11, 2009

Stretching...of sorts.

It is human to desire self-actualization and when we get one step ahead we feel elated and motivated to achieve our best. But in all that we do, we are at times drawn to making harsh judgements that simply question our humane nature: So as she sat there being condemned all she could do was drift away. She ran to the place of solace in her mind. The one place where time stood still and all their words vanished like vapor in the wind. Her black eyes, sweet smile, soft palms and rational mind danced to the tune of rejection whilst they mocked her. Negligence! they called it.
Paula:" Dr. Kiama, do you find any wrong in what you did?"
She stared at her-the audience, the cameras and looked down, this was proving to be the most difficult interview in her life. Her mind drifted back to the numerous awards that she had received in her 10 years of practicing medicine. He head throbbed immensely as she struggled to find the right words to say.
Paula: "Dr. Kiama,would you care to answer that?"
"I still do not know on what grounds my action would be seen as wrong, for I am accused of negligence, which according to our act in the field of medicine is a totally different matter."
Paula: "So what does it mean?"
"Clinical negligence law defines negligence as any act or omission which falls short of a standard to be expected of "the reasonable man." It is necessary to show that whatever I did or did not do fell below the standard of a reasonably competent Doctor, something that I..."
Paula: "Please proceed."
"I still have no grounds of defense when..."
Paula: "So are you pleading guilty to mercy killing?"
"What is mercy killing?"
Paula: "So, let me get this straight, you didn't push the emergency button to call the nurses and doctors to resuscitate your patient Bella, because she was tired and had previously had 52 of the same shock procedures? And you say that is not mercy killing?"
"I still do not clearly understand why our laws contradict, for as doctors we obey the law of patient confidentiality and we do as is fit for our patients to ensure they get better and the patients upon becoming critical and taken into intensive care have their family sign a consent form...okay, this form is a guideline for us doctors and we advise as is appropriate."
Paula: " Go on."
"I am not saying that Bella asked to me to pull the plug, I am saying that there is more to what a cancer patient goes through and at times as doctors we do what is best till their time comes to pass on, but what of the families? we do owe them the right to know medical updates...Bella came in vibrant and withn a month she looked like an old woman...wrinkled skin, no hair and most of all hopeless...a factor that leads to increased death of cancer patients."
Paula: "So, what are you saying."
"I am saying, that according to mercy killing, I have no right to play God, but according to our ethical code of conduct I have all the right to do what is right for my patient, all in all I am still amazed at the level of condemnation that I have recieved and maybe I deserve it, maybe her family does, maybe we all...for we do play God most of the times including when we judge others and this we have no right to...I did not pull the plug on Bella, as in the media, rather I got there when she was taking her last breath. I had the potential to save her, but after being resuscitated 52 times, her heartbeat had reduced almost four times and she was on life support...machines do have the capacity to aid or not...if I had pressed the emerency button the nurses would have come rushing but she would have died by then, So I rushed to her side and could only manage to see her smile and say " thank you."
"I did my part...and though I am bound to be condemned for it...I did achieve one of my goals as doctor which is seeing my patient at peace, without pain. That is all I have to say."