Mumbai

Patient should be an ally, says Dr. Udwadia

Physician says communication creates a bond between the patient and doctor

From a medical practitioner’s perspective, justice could mean many things. To begin with, said eminent physician Dr. Farokh E. Udwadia, it means not making a distinction on the basis of caste and creed, rich and poor.

Dr. Udwadia was delivering the keynote address on Sunday at the annual conference organised by the Bombay ‘C’ Ward Medical Association and the Bombay Medical Union, where he was bestowed with the lifetime achievement award.

The physician traced the history of medical ethics and highlighted its four principles: beneficence, non-maleficence, autonomy and justice.

On justice, Dr. Udwadia recalled an instance when the tetanus ward in JJ Hospital was started. “We had a situation where we have six serious patients, all frothing and convulsing. I had only three ventilators available. Who would we give the ventilators to? You may say the worse patients. But how do we know who was worse?” he said.

They were fortunate to transfer the patients to a private charitable hospital then. “Justice also means that those who are in the administration of the medical matters have a say in the distribution of medical resources.” Justice means there should be good public hospitals where the poor can get treatment, he said. “Public hospitals should be the beacons of light in therapy and research.”

He referred to the ongoing lack of access to newer drugs for multi-drug resistant tuberculosis patients as an example.

According to Dr. Udwadia, communication is the single most important aspect of medical ethics. “You should have the patient as an ally in the fight against the disease. Once you communicate, a bond is created between the patient and doctor,” he said.

The BMU is one of the oldest in the country, founded in 1883. “The BCWMA is the oldest ward association,” said BMU’s president Dr. Vibhakar Adhvaryu. He said their main aim has been to keep all doctors updated with knowledge.

Both the associations jointly started an annual conference last year. The annual multi-speciality conference held on Sunday saw major corporate hospitals like ACI. Cumballa Hill, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani, H.N. Reliance Foundation, Parkway Pantai and SRCC. Children’s hospitals coming together under one roof.

“The presentations and discussions were focussed on newer techniques and therapies that are available and how they could be implemented in everyday general practice. It is our emphasis as most of our members are general practitioners,” said physician Dr. Jawahar Mukhtyar.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 5:37:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/patient-should-be-an-ally-says-dr-udwadia/article30071572.ece

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