Topic: Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions.
6) Peaceful protests and strikes are a basic human right, but for doctors, their proximity to life and death and the social contract between a doctor and a patient are stated as the reasons why doctors are valued more than the ordinary beings. Analyse the moral repercussions of strikes on patients versus the circumstances of doctors working in public sector hospitals of a developing country that may lead to strikes in the backdrop of the recent healthcare logjam in West Bengal.(250 words)
Why this question:
Doctors’ protest erupted on Tuesday after an intern at the Nil Ratan Sarkar Medical College and Hospital was allegedly attacked by the relative of a patient who died on 10 June in West Bengal. The state’s health machinery is in chaos since then.
Key demand of the question:
The answer must discuss the moral conflicts involved in such situations; duty vs working condition and security of self.
Analyse – When asked to analyze, you have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary
Structure of the answer:
In a few lines describe the situation in the question.
The answer must discuss the following:
Doctors are envisaged as highly respectable due to their direct link with human lives. Under Hippocrates oath, care of the patient is a contractual obligation for the doctors and is superior to all other responsibilities. From utilitarian perspective, doctors’ strikes are justifiable only if there is evidence of long-term benefits to the doctors, patients and an improvement in service delivery. Despite that, it is hard to justify such benefits against the risks to the patients. Harms that may incur to the patients include: prolongation of sufferings, irreversible damage to health, delay in treatment, death, loss of work and waste of financial resources. In a system of socialized medicine, government owing to greater control over resources and important managerial decisions should assume greater responsibility and do justice to all stakeholders including doctors as well as patients. If a doctor is underpaid, has limited options for career growth and is forced to work excessively, then not only quality of medical care and ability to act in the best interests of patients is adversely affected, it may also lead to brain drain.
Conclude with solutions.