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First, do no harm

  • Published at 07:23 pm March 5th, 2017
  • Last updated at 08:46 pm March 5th, 2017
First, do no harm

One of the preliminary promises etched within the Hippocratic Oath is to “first, do no harm” -- an important step in becoming a doctor.

Which is why it is a matter of shame that medical interns all over the nation are holding a strike, compromising the lives of many patients in the process.

The strike is being held in protest of four medical interns from Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Medical College Hospital (SZMC) getting suspended for six months for assaulting a patient’s relative.

We respect citizens’ right to peaceful protest, but, given the fact the medical interns, who have connections to BCL, were rightfully suspended over their transgressive act of assault, there is no justification for such strikes.

By refusing to provide treatment to those who need it, the medical interns engaged in the strike are fundamentally breaking the Hippocratic Oath and effectively harming those they have sworn their entire practice to.

In addition to SZMC, the strike is being upheld in a number of medial colleges around the country, including Sher-E-Bangla Medical College Hospital in Barisal, Dinajpur Medical College, Khulna Medical College, and at least four hospitals in Sylhet.

This is a deeply regrettable state of affairs.

In a nation that is already ailing when it comes to its health care sector, it is irresponsible of those involved in the strike to simply stop working, in protest or otherwise -- an action that can have long-term adverse effects on our population’s health.

The decision to suspend the offending interns was the right move on the part of SZMC administration, and the striking interns need to realise that and get back to serving the people by upholding their promise to do no harm.