1. While on duty, a doctor treating COVID-19 patients receives a call from her husband. He has tested positive for COVID-19. What should the doctor be doing now? Should she leave the patients and leave for her home to take care of her sick husband or should she continue to serve the hospitalised COVID-19 patients? Share your views.
ड्यूटी पर रहते हुए, COVID-19 रोगियों का इलाज करने वाले डॉक्टर को अपने पति का फोन आता है। उनका COVID-19 परिक्षण सकारात्मक आया है। अब डॉक्टर को क्या करना चाहिए? क्या उसे रोगियों को छोड़कर अपने बीमार पति की देखभाल के लिए घर चले जाना चाहिए या अस्पताल में भर्ती COVID-19 रोगियों की सेवा जारी रखनी चाहिए? अपने विचार को सारगर्भित करें।
Demand of the question:
It expects students to write from both the perspectives of doctor and also as a wife. Students should also write about the ethical questions raised by the given situation and possible steps the doctor can take.
The Covid-19 pandemic epidemic is a test not just of our mettle but also of our morals. The Covid frontline warriors especially the doctors are placed in tough ethical dilemmas that are influencing their professional ethics, morals, societal ethics, etc.
The doctor is subject to a number of competing duties:
- A duty to patients
- A duty to protect oneself from undue risk of harm
- A duty to one’s family
- A duty to colleagues whose work loads and risk of harm will increase in one’s absence
- A duty to society
The given situation puts doctor into an ethical dilemma – where she has tough choice between her professional duty and social duty.
Her professional medical ethics wants her to take care of patients assigned to her, while social and emotional aspect demands her to take care of her husband.
She cannot leave patients in hospital and priorities husband’s wellbeing as:
- it can put herself, her hospital staff – patients, her other family members at risk.
- Ethically it shows disrespect to oath and professional duty of doctor.
- This action also stands against social ethics as even family; society will be at risk.
So, on-duty doctor on getting call from Covid positive husband can take following steps:
- Tell her husband to be calm, and take necessary precaution, ask him to call local authorities and follow the established procedure.
- As chances of doctor herself being infected are high, she should reponsibly inform the hospital authorities and her staff and further take necessary precautions.
- Get herself isolated and keep in touch with her husband and other family members via video call; ask about symptoms and whether local authorities are taking necessary steps.
- Even inform possible contacts to her and her family members about possible risk.
- As she knows the drill well, help family members and other affected in getting all necessary help from government authorities.
- Get herself tested and check on tests of other family members, hospital staff, etc.
- Keep in constant touch with family members, hospital staff via messages, audio-video calls and motivate each other.
- If her husband has serious symptoms – motivate him, give all positive energy. Though emotional very daunting but a very crucial and practical necessity, discuss about all financial, insurance, investment, etc. related matters. This will help the family in worst case scenarios.
With right ethical choices, selfless duty and responsibility we can sustain our mettle and morals even against the toughest challenge to humanity, which will lay the foundations of prosperous and healthy future.