• Tuesday, Dec 07, 2021
  • Last Update : 11:54 pm

ED: First, do no harm

  • Published at 08:25 pm July 6th, 2020
doctor medical hospital treatment
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Hospitals should in no way turn back patients in such critical need

Because of the Covid-19 crisis, medical resources are strained, and health care professionals have their hands more than full. An unfortunate unintended consequence of this has been that children, many of them critically ill, have fallen into neglect.

Many parents have reported that it has been difficult or impossible to find medical care for their children at this time. One-year-old Nadia, for example, even in critical condition, was not able to receive the medical care she needed on time. 

Upon being rushed to hospital, she was diagnosed after nine hours of waiting, and then suggested to be moved to a neonatal intensive care unit. Upon being taken to Dhaka Shishu Hospital, Nadia’s father was told that the baby would only be taken to the NICU once her Covid-19 test came out negative. After many clinics refused admission for the same reason, the child was declared dead.

Such tragedies of unspeakable proportions are taking place throughout the country because of the panic and fear in the atmosphere. Hospitals should in no way turn back patients in such critical need, certainly not when the patient is an infant facing imminent death.

Medical professionals take an oath to do no harm, and yet, untold numbers of reports from all over the country, especially the capital, suggest that many hospitals are operating out of fear, not duty. This dereliction of duty is having devastating consequences. 

We must tackle the coronavirus with rationality and all possible precautions, but we should not, in this time of the pandemic, let our fear destroy our basic human responsibilities.

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