With the ever increasing death rate of Nigerians, sadly hospitals are complicit in taking lives. Clearly the Hippocratic oath is unimportant compared to making money and corporate bureaucracy.
Nigerians are inundated with several news of death, as a result of a hospital or doctor’s negligence. Thus to ensure you do not waste your life, more Nigerians are embracing going abroad for medical care.
In a news going viral, an engineer was left to die after Reddington, a high brow hospital rejected his gun shot riddled body, because of the absence of a police report. In Nigerian hospitals, it is common place to see a person in dire need of medical attention casually bleed out, because he is either unable to pay a deposit or doctors are on strike.
Recall the death of a patient, months ago, who made the news because he passed on as a result of empty oxygen tanks. What about the news of the pregnant woman and her child who died because doctors were not administering treatment as a result of a strike, it would seem killing people is a way to get the government’s attention.
People die from complications in surgery because of a negligent or careless doctor. Doctors kill people when proper medical history are not investigated before treatment is administered.
While we are so quick to blame the government for ill-equipping hospitals, are doctors who have no regard for human life exempted?
A step in checking this abnormality in Nigerian hospital has been undertaken by the Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi as hospitals who turn down gunshot victims or refuse to treat individuals in need of medical care are liable and will be prosecuted.
The Hippocratic oath is a vow, created by the father of medicine, Hippocrates. It is one of the oldest binding avowal by physicians and it is held sacred to this day.
The Hippocratic Oath:
I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:
I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.
I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures which are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.
I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.
I will not be ashamed to say “I know not,” nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient’s recovery.
I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.
I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.
I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.
I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.
If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.