Thursday, January 12, 2023.
Dr. T plays God. Decides what is best for patients without their consent.
Nkitinkiti Government Hospital
On a quiet Labour Ward
Dr. A: Come and see this letter that the woman brought for the BTL (Bilateral Tubal Ligation). She wrote that we should ‘turn her womb to stop her from having more children because she has 10 children already.’
Midwife X: Hahahaha
Dr. B: I have a file of photocopies of these letters. From time to time, I read them and laugh. Somebody wrote: ‘somersault the womb.’ Another person wrote: ‘castrate the uterus’…
Dr. Kwaku Nkrabea enters.
Kwaku Nkrabea: When are you people bringing the woman for the elective caesarean section? The theatre staff are waiting. Dr. T. has started the emergency.
Midwife X: We are almost done preparing her. She will be sent to theatre soon.
Kwaku Nkrabea: And what did I see you doing? Laughing at patients again?
Dr. A: Isn’t it funny?
Kwaku Nkrabea: How many times have I told you people to stop this. You don’t have to ask these women to go and write letters which they struggle to write. We have a template that they can be taken through and they sign. The fact that someone cannot speak or write English does not make the person unintelligent. Education is not about speaking and writing good English.
Dr. B: Kwaku Nkrabea be that. Preacher man.
Kwaku Nkrabea: Some of the people who cannot speak or write English have higher Intelligent Quotients than many people who think being able to speak impeccable English is the highest form of education.
Kwaku Nkrabea goes back to theatre.
Kwaku Nkrabea observes Dr. T. operating. Dr. T. finishes operating, sits down to write his notes. Kwaku Nkrabea joins him.
Kwaku Nkrabea: I observed you performing Bilateral Tubal Ligation after you took out the baby.
Dr. T: Yes. This is her 3rd caesarean section. She has 3 children.
Kwaku Nkrabea: But she did not give consent for a Bilateral Tubal Ligation? Besides she lost her first husband. This is the first child with her new husband. For all you know, she would like to have another child with this new husband.
Dr. T: You know that subsequent caesarean sections carry more risks of complications.
Kwaku Nkrabea: Yes, but it is not impossible. Women can have more caesarean sections. It is our duty to counsel them to make good decisions. Besides Bilateral Tubal Ligation is not the only way to prevent pregnancy. There are other forms of contraception.
Kwaku Nkrabea: Are you going to inform her that you performed Bilateral Tubal Ligation for her?
Dr. T: No
Kwaku Nkrabea: Are you going to write in your operation notes that you performed Bilateral Tubal Ligation for her?
Dr. T: No
Kwaku Nkrabea: What!
Kwaku Nkrabea: So if in future this woman wants another child, she will be moving from one hospital to another, paying for expensive tests and procedures to get pregnant, not knowing you performed Bilateral Tubal Ligation for her?
Dr. T: I am trying to do the best for her as a doctor. To prevent her from dying.
Kwaku Nkrabea: Amazing.
That reminds me. Last month, the woman who had declined blood transfusion on religious grounds. You gave her blood transfusion when she was under general anaesthesia. You didn’t tell her before you discharged her.
Dr. T: That woman could have died if we had not transfused her.
Kwaku Nkrabea: That woman brought a written document that she must not be transfused no matter what. I saw her Durable Power of Attorney (DPA). You didn’t try making contact with anyone to discuss it. You just went ahead and gave the blood transfusion.
Dr. T: I gave her the blood transfusion in her best interest.
Kwaku Nkrabea: If you continue like this, one day you are to get yourself into a big legal problem. And you will have no feet to stand on.
Dr. T: You are always wishing that bad things happen.
Kwaku Nkrabea: I am going to have a discussion with our Acting Medical Director, Dr. Dr. Anibie. We need education on medical ethics for all staff in this hospital as soon as possible. Some of the things happening here are unbelievable!
Kwaku Nkrabea: They brought the patient. Let me go and prepare for the next surgery.
To be continued.
The characters in this piece are fictitious; any resemblance to real people or facts within your Corporate Institution is pure coincidence only.