Friday, April 24, 2009

Do we really follow this Oath?

Islam is a way of life. As a Muslim doctor, our job is part of Ibadah. Whatever we do should be in accordance to Islamic teachings. When it comes to medical ethics, ours should be Islamic medical ethics. This isn’t difficult as Islam is the religion for all times and circumstances. Islamic teachings have always paved way to human prosperity.

Why is this Muslim physician's Oath so important to Muslim doctors? Because, this oath binds us and our commitments to Allah- our God. This oath helps us to perfect our duty as a doctor. And most importantly, it helps us to use this medical knowledge to gain love of Allah by obeying his commands.

“To extend my hand of service to one and all, to the rich and to the poor, to friend and foe alike, regardless of race, religion and culture”

This oath specifically mentions our commitment to humankind irrespective of their race, religion and social class. This is how it has to be. But how many of us really do so? From my experience, it’s not uncommon for a doctor to discriminate among his patients depending on social class, religion or race. But this Oath, as we undertake it in the name of Our God, forces us to adhere to this very important aspect of human rights.

“To do my utmost to alleviate pain and misery, and to comfort and counsel human beings in sickness and in anxiety”

How many times have you really sit and talk to an anxious patient to relieve his/her anxiety regarding your diagnosis? Often patient’s worries are merely a fear for nothing, yet we are bound to explain things and talk to them to relieve their anxiety. Medicine is not always a tablet.

“To maintain the dignity of the health care and to honor the teachers, students and members of my profession”

This is another issue, especially when it comes to this part of the world. Where there is such a huge dignity gap between junior doctors and senior ones. Wonder if they even remember this oath. Not only Muslim physician’s oath. Even the original the hippocratic oath has all this emphasis. Yet, often we see seniors treating juniors like as if they are slaves. Full of arrogance. Utter nonsense!

It’s high time we change our attitude. At least we must try to fully abide to the oath we had undertaken in the name of Allah if we can’t do all this for the sake of anything else. Dust do it for the sake of life hear after.