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Dilemma Between Truthfulness And Kindness

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by gopalan1937, Nov 12, 2018.

  1. gopalan1937

    gopalan1937 Silver IL'ite

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    It was 2 AM. I was in deep sleep in a hospital bed, not as a patient but as a duty house surgeon in the causality department of headquarters hospital at Thanjavoor, when I was woken up by the male nursing assistant to attend to an emergency patient. As was my wont, I at once became alert and hurried to have a look at the patient. It seems he was staying in a local rest house and he retired to bed around 9.30PM, after leaving instructions with the reception desk to wake him up around 1A.M since he had to catch a train. At the appointed time, the hotel staff found him in an unconscious state and had brought him to hospital.

    I found the young man named Syed in a comatose state. As I felt this case needs evaluation by the senior doctor on duty, I sent for him. He made a quick survey of the patient and enquired if I had done ammonia test to which I put up an ignorant look. He asked the duty nurse to bring a cotton swab dipped in Liquor Ammonia. kept in a shelf there. He gently inserted the swab into the patient’s nostrils, upon which the patient jumped up with a sneeze and violent cough and watery eyes.

    The senior doctor opined that the patient was feigning. Upon questioning, the patient confessed to the falsehood. He was recently married and did not want to go back to duty to Saudi where he was employed and due to return in a week’s time. He planned to get admitted in a hospital for a couple of days and obtain a medical certificate to extend his stay. He pleaded with the senior doctor to admit him and provide him with a certificate for rest and continuation of treatment for about a month. The senior physician was annoyed and dismissed him. He advised me not to encourage such falsehood in our practice. The story did not end there.

    Next night same time. I was woken up again by the same fellow; but this time with different complaints. He was having acute abdominal pain. I felt sorry for the young man’s plight. Fortunately for him, the senior doctor of the night was different, and he was staying with me in the house surgeon’s quarters. I put up the facts of the case to him. This time the senior doctor admitted him under his care in his ward. Learnt later that he furnished him a certificate to the effect that he needs rest and treatment for a month.

    Later when I thanked him for his kindness, he retorted” Why not help him? He paid one hundred Rupees for the help rendered.” I was taken aback. Questioned him, if it was ok to accept money from a patient in a govt hospital. He shot back” I did not ask him. He wanted to show his gratitude. I did not want to displease him”.

    I am still wondering which senior doctor did the right thing. Whether the one who did not encourage falsehood or the one who showed kindness, though he accepted money?
     
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  2. iyerviji

    iyerviji IL Hall of Fame

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    The one who ignored his request was right. It will become a habit for the guy to do again
     
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  3. Itsmylife143

    Itsmylife143 Platinum IL'ite

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    Truthfulness may be bitter it will help, Kindness should be a habit. Thank you for sharing :)
     
  4. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Shri Gopalan Sir,
    A thought provoking snippet.I used to ponder about this on many occasions.

    From the day the child is born into this world,he is brought up among lies,lies and unmixed lies. Researchers on child psychology convey that lying plays a positive role in normal child development and that telling lies is more or less comparable to individual thinking and emotional control.All kids learn to lie well even at the age of two.

    When the children make open remarks such as’that girl is short and fat,dark and ugly’ or ‘the dosa prepared by grandma is not crispy’ or charred ,we parents intervene and make the children believe that honesty is not welcome and that there is a fine line between telling the truth and hurting the people.
    All parents lie for convenience and children faithfully imitate.

    Lying,which commences its journey as a tool to avoid confusion and punishment or to save one’s face gets firmly established.Sometimes lies are spoken to rescue others.Which counts more--the untruth or the good done to others,we don’t know.

    There are people who wantonly advocate lies and argue that a truth that is told with bad intent will beat all the lies that you can invent.

    Lies are stated to be sugar coated capsules to convey the bitter truths in life.The liars that have social acceptance are the actors,dramatists,historians and fiction writers who are specialized in the art of weaving series of lies .They escape the scandal because of the professional tag attached .

    It is a common observation that women,in order to get widows’pension don’t hesitate to obtain fake’death –certificates’for their live husbands and there are people to issue fake certificates on fake letter heads for monetary gain for any purpose.

    Medical professionals give false hopes to the relatives of the terminally ill patients,extract lakhs of rupees within a week, only to convey God’s will and handing over the mortal remains.

    Many lawyers and judges who belong to a higher breed of intellectuals consider it a proud privilege to talk nothing but lies ,which come under the ‘technically true’ category in their profession and are experts in misleading others to believe what is not true.

    Wherever you turn,you see nothing but lies.When we become so much accustomed to lies and deceipt,one feels as if he is committing a crime if he starts telling the truth which appears false and dangerous.In the present situation,”truth is nothing more than what one chooses to believe in the moment”

    The national motto ‘Sathyameva Jayate’still holds good with definition of ‘Sathyam’having undergone total metamorphosis.

    I believe that there is no absolute truth excepting the truth that there is no absolute truth”.

    Jayasala42
     
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  5. poovai

    poovai Platinum IL'ite

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    Sir,

    I am looking forward to read your posts, every week.

    It could be the dilemma back then, isn't common now a days?

    My sister works for GH, she doesn't have a private practice. But, relatives, friends and neighbors walk in and ask for 'leave letter' and she gives them the required seal of approval!
     
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  6. gopalan1937

    gopalan1937 Silver IL'ite

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    Ms iyervigi, Agree with you.But sometimes against my own decisions, I had to act. Used to curse myself at such times.
     
  7. gopalan1937

    gopalan1937 Silver IL'ite

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    Ms. Itsmylife143, Thanks for your response. I could not be truthful at all times to avoid hurting people close to you.
     
  8. gopalan1937

    gopalan1937 Silver IL'ite

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    Ms Jayasala42, I perused your response several times. I sense some anger in you against falsehood and liars.I feel really sad that Sathyam has no meaning nowadays.For having been honest, I had to undergo tribulations during my service. My appreciations for a befitting response
     
  9. gopalan1937

    gopalan1937 Silver IL'ite

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    Ms Poovai, First of all my profound thanks for your appreciation. Yes, still the dilemma continues. As for as possible, I had avoided giving false leave certificates even to my friends and relatives with the reason that I don't want to get entangled in any disciplinary cases if they are caught. Once they knew I am not the person to issue false certicates, they will never ask. But it had not affected my relationship. With a little bit of tact , I surmounted such problems.
     
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  10. HazelPup

    HazelPup Platinum IL'ite

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    Sir, I am reminded of this dialogue From Anniyan movie

    Ramanujam 'Ambi' Iyengar: [as Anniyan] Is it wrong to steal 5 paisa?

    Chockalingham: Doesnt seem very wrong.

    Ramanujam 'Ambi' Iyengar: [as Anniyan] Is it wrong if you steal 5 paisa, 5 crore times?

    Chockalingham: Seems to be wrong...

    Ramanujam 'Ambi' Iyengar: [as Anniyan] Is it wrong if 5 crore people steal 5 paisa, 5 crore times?

    Chockalingham: Seems to be very wrong...

    Ramanujam 'Ambi' Iyengar: That's what's happening

    I will leave the rest to your understanding
     
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