Unfair Trial by media


A recent photo of a doctor performing a vaginal examination has generated a lot of anger among the public and medical fraternity alike. The still image is distasteful and everyone is demanding the blood of the doctor involved.

Let’s take a step back. This image is a split second representation of the events of that day. No one knows what happened before or after this shot was taken. Many will argue that a picture speaks a thousand words, but no one mentioned if those words were correct or otherwise.

Take this scenario.

The pregnant mother is having a difficult delivery. The background picture shows an intravenous drip, strongly indicating she was dehydrated from the prolonged second stage of labour or the need to assist the contraction. Her cervix was dilating very slowly and the medical team is contemplating emergency Caesarean. Mother is obviously worried. Such a prolonged labour can take up to 18-20 hours.

Finally, when a vaginal examination was done, she was found to be fully dilated and the delivery is now entering its 3rd stage and progress is now good. The medical team is elated that an emergency operation is averted. Mother is happy too. Someone decided to snap that happy moment.

The mistake? Posting it on social media with no mention if consent was taken.

Sure it was a mistake, a possibly innocent mistake from a junior doctor and her accomplice(s). Care could have been exemplary and patient safety was never compromised.

Let’s cut her some slack and end our hypocritical analysis of the situation, just because the media decides to sensationalise this issue by bedevilling the doctor involved and indirectly, the integrity of the medical profession. Let’s hear all sides of the story before we react in such angst.

#Selfie #MedicalEthics