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Sci Eng Ethics. 2017 Sep 12. doi: 10.1007/s11948-017-9968-1. [Epub ahead of print]

Sanitary Worker's Death Unnerves Pakistan's Health Care Ethics to the Core.

Author information

1
Dow Medical College, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan.
2
Forensic Medicine Division, Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, King Fahd Hospital of the University, University of Dammam, Dammam, Saudi Arabia.
3
Forensic Medicine Division, Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, King Fahd Hospital of the University, University of Dammam, Dammam, Saudi Arabia. mangalore971@yahoo.co.in.

Abstract

Health care ethics is a sensitive domain, which if ignored, can lead to patient dissatisfaction, weakened doctor-patient interaction and episodes of violence. Little importance has been paid to medical ethics within undergraduate medical education in developing countries such as Pakistan. Three doctors in Pakistan are currently facing an official police complaint and arrest charges, following the death of a sanitary worker, who fell unconscious while cleaning a drain and was allegedly refused treatment as he was covered in sewage filth. The medical license of the doctors in question should be cancelled, if found guilty following a thorough investigation into the case. The 'right to life' has been universally assured by all moral, cultural and legal codes and no society can ever argue against the sacredness of a human life. It is quite clear that the aforesaid doctors' actions are not only against the core principles of the physicians' code, but also go against the doctrine of human rights. If serious efforts on an urgent basis are not made by the regulatory and governing bodies, one can definitely expect similar incidents for at least a few more decades before any noticeable change is seen.

KEYWORDS:

Code of ethics of practice for medical practitioners; Health care ethics; Medical ethics; Medical humanities; Pakistan

PMID:
28900845
DOI:
10.1007/s11948-017-9968-1
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