Shocking but not unexpected : rogue doctors or a fight for survival?

by Editorial Team

A recent media expose has highlighted an ill that plaques every occupation there is. However, medicine and doctors are often seen as a bastion of honesty and integrity. This is seen as a betrayal of that trust that the community has bestowed on those with a “Dr” in front of their names.

The Hippocratic Oath and the famous quote of “Do no harm” often is thought would be the guiding principle of all practicing doctors. The years of medical training are meant to ingrain the notion of patient safety in medicine.

So what has gone so very wrong? What has led doctors to lead and be led astray? This article is meant to understand the reasons or inspiration behind these rogue doctors.

Market demand and a flourishing industry 

Times are changing and the situation is becoming tough even for doctors, especially those in private practice. Venturing into what is deemed as in demand may be a wise move to many. So phrases like wellness, aesthetics and anti aging are becoming words that may connect with patients. Delving into the this world of pseudo science is common but skirts the borders of ethics. There is an increasing number of doctors who are now practising this brand of medicine. A concoction of vitamins to boost vitality and youth, for example, is deemed as safe although the evidence for such is lacking.

False sense of hope 

Some argue that if there is consent between the doctor and patient, then this media hype may ring hollow. Clearly, misleading patients into believing that they are doing something to their benefit and is safe, breaches the ethics of modern  medicine. Doctors must educate patients and inform them correctly based on current knowledge, not based on myths or pseudo science. Neither should they take advantage of the insecurities of patients, giving them a false sense of hope and well being.

The cosmetics industry, often cloaked as aesthetics and anti-aging, is thriving. The advertising prowess has created a sense that one can be well via certain procedures. Many of the treatment methodologies have not been proven, lest safe to be administered. The lure of financial rewards however, has convinced many doctors to ply this trade with their medical expertise as a carrot for patients to accept these forms of ‘treatment’.

 

Certainly doctors are entrusted to give care based on evidence and safety. They are the crusaders against bad medicine and misinformation. They are the main line of defence for patients, shielding them from the greed and lies of many purported practitioners of health. They are often looked upon as an oasis of ethical practices.

Perhaps the root cause would be the reasons many enter medicine. Was it the passion that has led many to toil to enter medical school and sweat through the rigours of medicine that led them to choose this profession? Or has the deteriorating standards of medical education allowed disinterested and misguided individuals to pursue this course and seep through the cracks?