Teachings from both the epics of our country are practically taught to every child during school age. The first being Ramayana and the second being Mahabharata. Ramayana depicts Lord Ram as the savior of truth and a person who lives an in atmosphere of truthfulness till end. Ramayana probably is a reflection of the collective consciousness of satyuga where the majority of the people believed in truthfulness.

Then came an era of tritya or dwapara yuga where the definition of dharma (to hold people together) changed as per the collective consciousness of the people. The teaching of Lord Krishna in Mahabharata was that you have to live with truthfulness but speaking a lie can be your dharma in special situations. He said that a lie which can save somebody’s life without affecting any other person may be spoken and a truth which can hurt somebody if spoken and is not going to harm anybody if not spoken may not be spoken.

Today we are living in Kalyuga and Krishna of today is every medical doctor treating a patient. For the interest of the patient and the society if doctors were to follow the principles of Rama miseries would have increased. We as medical professionals are taught the example of Krishna and not Rama. We are taught that our utmost duty is the comfort of the patient. In doing so we are taught not to tell a dying person that he is going to die or not to tell a cancer patient that he is going to die in the next two to three months.

As a part of our social commitment a job of a medical professional is to save the life of a person. Everybody knows that prostitution is a crime but both Govt. of India and National AIDS Control Organization has a programme in which they distribute free condoms to the commercial sex workers. Similarly, all addicts during de-addiction are provided drugs as a part of the prescription though the quantity has been defined as to be lower than 5 grams. All addicts are treated and not put behind the bar.

The Law today state that an attempt to commit suicide is a crime (section 309 of the Indian Penal Code 1860) and consuming a drug is also a crime. But medically a doctor would look it differently. For him attempt to suicide is linked to an underlying depression and the patient needs a treatment and not jail. Addiction is a disease and every addict on similar grounds need de-addiction programme and not jail.

The country’s Law is very harsh and needs to be changed. Probably when the law was made addiction was not considered a disease.

Punishment for a person attempting to commit suicide should be to get a compulsory treatment for depression in a time bound manner and for an addict to get a complete de-addiction done in a time bound manner.

The answer is not punishment but rehabilitation. But till the Law is changed the only way medical professionals can help patients with attempted suicide is to write that it was accidental and patients who are addicts is by showing that either it was accidental ingestion or he or she ingested an unknown substance.

Most of the doctors are taught not to do urine or blood test in such cases as if the test comes out to be positive the police will have no other alternative than to arrest the addict and put them behind the bar.

The Law says that possession of cocaine in anybody’s house can amount to imprisonment. Will the same law apply to the Chief Minister or Lt. Governor of a state if cocaine is found in their state or Prime Minister of President of the country if cocaine is found in their country?

But if we look from the angle of law makers under section 64A in the NDPS act there is a provision that the court can direct drug addicts to get rehab done in a Govt. de-addiction centre and leave them. But most of the doctors are not aware of the same. Doctors can easily label a patient as drug addict and save them. But how many people would like to be labeled as an addict or prefer a Govt. centre when best of the private sector de-addiction centers are available.

But the bailable arrest of doctors in Rahul Mahajan case is a clear indication for the medical professionals to stop thinking they are next to GOD and they have any social responsibility. They should follow the rule book of the law and state observations as they are.

Blogger PostEmailFacebookGoogle GmailShare