A patient contracting AIDS posted on a large internet forum about an incident in which a doctor refused to operate him. After this incident was announced, it triggered many “netizens” to comment and retweet, criticizing and even insulting the doctor, saying that he was not worthy of being a doctor because he had no medical ethics. But does refusal in such case necessarily mean having low morals?
An anonymous user posted this reply on the forum :
” I was wearing two layers of gloves, and I had washed my hands several times. After leaving the operating table, I was covered in sweat.In fact, I was always reluctant to go to the operating table. But the respected old professors all had been there, so I had no right to back out.
It is very common for surgeons to accidentally cut their hands during operations. No matter how many layers of gloves are worn, a sharp scalpel can easily cut through.While facing HIV and multiple drug resistant bacteria, there are no absolutely safe preventive measures. It’s like throwing yourself to the lions.
When I entered the hallowed halls of medicine, I took an oath in the name of Hippocrates. I accepted to absolutely save each and every patient I’d treat. I’ve always treated every patient I’ve dealt with very seriously. But at the same time, I want my safety and health to be 100% guaranteed, or at least not risking to be injured or even potentially lose my life because of my work.
You can call me selfish. But after 20 years of hard studies, I finally got my Ph.D., and I have only been practicing medicine independently for a short time, so I admit I can’t afford to take the risk that one slip of the hand could ruin my life.
Parents are not doctors. Their opinion is that there are always unruly people in this world, and nobody should be bullied by them. To me, if you encounter medical trouble or other threats to your safety, if worst comes to worst, just leave, you don’t want to aggravate your situation.
Our director is more straightforward: he tells us that if we are standing here today wearing a white blouse, we are ones out of thousands who’ve made it. And that nobody should trample on our dignity at will.
Let’s take another example. In the cardiac surgery department of a nearby hospital, a fellow senior student performed a ventricular wall tumor operation and had his hand cut. It was only after leaving the operation table that he found out the patient was HIV positive. Fortunately, two weeks later, the results of his HIV test came out negative. I still can’t forget how desperate he was, and I can’t imagine how he felt during those two weeks.
These web surfers feel like running their mouth on forums will allow them to climb a “morals ladder”. But criticizing others and examining human nature from a supreme being’s perspective is itself an immoral behavior. If they act morally themselves doesn’t matter as long as what they say is moral. But you, as a doctor, should always act properly, according to internet forum addicts. So please don’t me about any “political correctness”.
The tension and oppression experienced by doctors is similar to walking a tightrope. Only once you’ve cut open the body of an patient with Aids, holding their blood-filled internal organs in your hands; Only once you’ve held a scalpel inside their body, only a few centimeters from their pulsating blood vessels; Only once your surgical gown has been slowly moistened by their blood, until your skin can feel it, and you can hear your own breathing ; Only then, once you’ve experienced that, will you understand this type of feeling.
I’ve seen arterial hemorrhage blood spraying onto a shadowless lamp. I’ve seen heart attacks and malignant hyperthermia. But the tension of that one surgery was unmatched by any other.
So, before answering this question think about what you would do if you were a doctor, or if your partner, your parents, or your children were doctors. Would you still criticize doctors that easily, and be that resentful that they may seek justice?
In a way, the system doesn’t make any sense.
I am just an ordinary person. Never thought too much about fame, but only tempting to benefit the world. By mistake, I put on a white blouse. In order to live up to this holy title, I tried hard to act honorably, but I was repeatedly hit. Doctors inherit all the human weaknesses after all.
No matter how sacred this job is, it is just a job. There are many examples of self-sacrifices done because of work, which we like to sing and praise. Maybe my consciousness level is low. But I don’t think there is any job worthy of my health or even risking my life. Because I still love the world, my family and friends, and I want to live this life well.
Before being a doctor, a doctor is a human being, a child of a parent, a parent of a son or daughter, the other half of a lover, and is no different from an ordinary person.”
That doctor finally changed his profession. He left the hospital, and also left the internet forum, away from all “right or wrong”. He became a consultant and is doing very well.