Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Dont force religion down anybody's throat

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Recently my mother was admitted to a hospital for treatment. The co-patient was a Christian. I would like to clarify that this post is not against preaching one religion. I am an atheist and hence have no issues with any god. Moreover, the better part of my academic career was courtesy a Christian institution and hence I am all the more indebted to Christianity.
Coming back, relatives of this patient became quite friendly with us. All of a sudden one of the ladies came and started her prayers on my mother. I politely told her to stop that since I have no belief in any God. After a polite rebuke, she relented. Why do the Missionaries act like network marketers and foist their religion on others whether or not they asked for it? You become friendly with them a bit, immediately they start their prayers, speak ill of your gods, etc. This is not the way to spread your religion. Such an attitude can only create hatred for your religion.
At times, they employ their above mentioned techniques on rank strangers. When somebody protests a bit harshly against such practices, they complain of human rights violation? Is it human rights to foist your religious prayers on a person of different faith without him asking for it? Is it human rights for you to criticize the other person’s gods and faith?
When somebody comes to your place of worship by his own consent, you are free to preach him your religion. Religion is a matter of choice and belief. I am all for religious conversions even if it is for economic reasons. If one religion offers an individual better opportunity of education, why not change his religion of birth? At the end of the day, there is only one God (that is what the theist believes). For God’s sake, don’t force religion down anybody’s throat. More often than not, he/she is going to vomit on your face and then don’t cry wolf.

Time pass advice (VAS)

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We all know about Value Added Services in mobiles. They come at premium rates. In society we have value adders (mostly nonsense) and who come free of cost. You can find them across the width and breadth of our country.

Recently my mother was admitted to hospital and after significant recovery, the doctor had asked me to let her walk alone. My mother though she is in her 70s, is a fiercely independent person and does not like to be helped while walking until she asks for it. She wanted to go to the toilet and I was following behind her, just in case, she trips. One of the relatives of a patient in the next bed, cried out “What are you doing, hold her”. I don’t take such free advices lying down and told back “I am waiting for her to fall down, so that I can inherit Cubbon Park which is registered in her name”. The guy had no place to hide and would stop his value addition to society, I think, atleast for a week.
In the days when I was happily unmarried, a co-employee of mine used to frequently ask me the obvious question and this increased to 3 to 4 times a day. One day I told him “I need your help to get married, I am in love with a girl and want to marry her, she is also willing” He asked her “Then what is the problem” I told “Her husband is not agreeing, will you help me in making him agree”. That was it, he used to avoid crossing my path itself. If you are working in a Government organization, you will find these value adders in abundance. They will comment on your dress, expenditure, children, savings, etc, etc. It is not necessarily co-workers, neighbours, relatives, bystanders everybody loves to value addition to others life without understanding the other person’s circumstances. They have no business except to advice others and gossip about them in their back. They don’t mean anybody’s welfare but are in for just time-pass

Nowadays the press is also getting into the value addition mold. The recent news on the arrest of a Nazi in Karanatak-Goa border and purported statements by a senior police officer of Karnataka is the best example. The best way to deal with them is an acerbic but humorous snub. If only people can mind their own business and stop their time pass advice.

Are we right in subjecting our elders to pain in the name of treatment?

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I don’t know whether you will have any good opinion about me after reading this blog. Our incomes have expanded and so has medical facilities. Medical facilities have grown to such an extent that we can safely say that we have 75% conquered death though not ageing.
We all value our elders especially if they are our parents. We want to shower on them all the care and affection that they gave us when we were young. There may be a few disgraceful children who don’t do so. When our elders fall sick, we get terribly frightened. We afford them the best treatment possible to ensure that they are back to normal.
This blog is not to question this basic human approach to our elders. I also do the same things but at the same time feel sometimes in the name of advanced treatment, I subject my mother who is 70 plus to a lot of pain and agony. Undergoing those countless blood tests, climbing those steep xray tables, bearing those radiations, undergoing various minor surgeries, numerous injections, etc., whether all this is worth the effort and is it justified for me to subject her to so much of pain? She feels that she has seen life to the maximum extent possible and wants to spend her remaining days in peace and prayers. I don’t relent and coerce her into undergoing this treatment because I care for her.
Will I agree for such pain and agony at her age. How much pain she has to undergo for me to feel satisfied? Will it make me a less caring son, if I don’t subject her to such pain? I don’t think so. It seems as if to for a public display of care, I am coercing her to undergo all this pain. Anyhow I have no ideas of relenting and want to ensure that she gets the best of medical care and attention.

A wonderful heart centre in Bangalore

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This blog is not for promoting the Bhagawan Mahaveer Jain Heart Centre, Bangalore. Given the fantastic treatment they give and ethics they have, they would not require publicity from a novice blogger like me. Just that I felt when an institution is not working, we very readily write about it to our friends and family. Very rarely, we compliment an institution which is working the way it is meant to.
Recently my mother’s heart beat went below the normal level and had to be rushed to the nearby Chinnamayya Hospital on 27/06/2008. Knowing that the case could not be handled, the duty doctor in the cardiac wing, instructed me to take her to a bigger facility. I must compliment him for his immediate admission to treat the disease and not possessing any ego. I took her to Bhagwan Mahavir Jain Heart Centre based on a friend’s advice, though in my mind I wanted to take her elsewhere.

The initial response in the casualty ward itself made me feel that I have brought her to the right place. Just informing that my office had a credit facility with the hospital and showing my ID card put an end to any demands for money. Otherwise I have seen many hospitals persisting with demand to deposit money until an authentication certificate is given by the office. Within 15 minutes of admission to the CCU, the cardiologist briefed us about the reasons for the disorder and possible cures. This again was a surprise for me, because specialists in some hospitals feel that they are answerable to none. He also told me that they have gone in for induction of a temporary pace-maker and the next day a permanent pace maker would be introduced. It was encouraging to note that the nursing staff gave us continuous updates on her health and also asked us not to get tensed. The reception staff was equally pleasing and did not disturb us with frequent requests for signatures. The cleanliness in the hospital is absolutely impeccable.

Next day, we went in anticipation that they would insert a pacemaker into her but it was not to be so. There is a wonderful practice in this hospital of doctors doing two times a day briefing for the relatives of patients in CCU. During our briefing, the doctor informed us that her heart beat had gone down, since potassium levels in her urine had gone up (Only one of her kidneys is functional) and the same has been brought under control. Her heart beat had stabilized and the need for a pacemaker would be obviated if the stability is maintained. This integrity hit me like a tsunami. We were having a corporate account and they could have very well inserted a pacemaker and claimed refund for the same along with associated medical charges. Nobody would have protested and the amount fully paid. But the doctors in Bhagwan Mahaveer Jain Hospital obviously have some ethics and don’t have money making as the single obsession of their lives. I don’t mean to say that other hospitals have money making as their single objective but we have heard stories of such money making by many a hospital. Hence, any person would have been shocked the way I was.
True to their words, when her heart beat stabilized, the doctors shifted her to the wards without the pacemaker and discharged her subsequently. Now she is doing well. During the hospitalization, the hospital itself took care of the medicine, which saved us from a lot of hassles. The charges for medicine was a nominal sum, which again proves the levels of honesty that his present in this hospital. The hospital is very centrally located near to Cantonment Railway Station in Bangalore and the address is given below
Bhagwan Mahaveer Jain Heart Centre
#8, Millers Tank Bund Road
Vasantha Nagar
Bangalore - 560052
Landmark: Near Cantonment Railway Station
Phone: 080-22267333, 22267374

This blog is not a promotional one but only a way of expressing my happiness at noticing ethics as required in a medical profession.

It is an hospital not a playground

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More relatives than patients are a common scene in hospitals across India. This is true even in diagnostic centers. I am not against the affection we have towards our dear and near ones but this should not come in the way of the process of curing a person of the illness he has been diagnosed with. I don’t understand what purpose is served by 20 relatives of a patient chatting amongst themselves outside the ICU. What purpose is served by a dozen of relatives being around a patient who is recuperating after surgery? If our care, attention, love and affection could cure a person, why take the trouble of bringing him/her to the hospital?
Such huge presence trivializes the hospital atmosphere and converts into a virtual playground. Everybody is making their own comments about the hospital, the food, bla bla in the presence of the patient. Further, some of them start discussing intricate family matters in presence of the patient. Further, more some relatives start discussing their woes with the patient. Excuse me, the patient has come to the hospital to get treated and cured and this cannot happen if the same atmosphere, arguments continue. Further, it disturbs the other patients also. This unruly behavior does not stop there. Though there are separate toilets for relatives of patients, it is the toilet meant for patients which fascinates them, so what if the patients who are already sick, land up with a urine infection?
We somehow revel in disturbing others, breaking rules just to pretend affectionate in front of our near and dear ones. If we can in the midst of our affection milieu understand that it is a hospital not a playground, things would improve. Most hospital authorities would sigh a sign of relief and possibly the patients too.

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Banglaore, Karnataka, India