The COVID pandemic may have finally exposed the level of hypocrisy in medical practice. The Ugandan case indicates hospitals charging up to 126 million Ugandan shillings for the release of a patient or corpse. Just like all medical practitioners, worldwide Ugandan medical practitioners take the Hippocratic Oath which stipulates among other ethical values the value of not causing harm to the patients. Back in the day when medical ethics was observed, there was no advertising in such a field and life came first then reward second. Probably the regard for life was highly valued than today where capitalism dictates indicate money is more valuable than life.
A medical practitioner has now turned into the ordinary businessman searching for income which explains the advertising and privatizing of the practice. The concept of humanity has been eroded and it is not about saving lives but saving as much money as possible from the patient. The patient is now a customer and the health services are now up to an unfair imbalance because there is no negotiation.
Cartoons have been drawn in media to describe this predicament as Doctors demand people’s land titles as collateral for offering them a health service. The realities of patients being asked for bribes to access service are high. Why has the medical profession broken the oath? Would it relate to poor untimely payments by the government? But what about the privatize medical sector? Would it be that the owners are businessmen and women hiring medical practitioners then not paying them?
German Philosopher Karl Marx argued that workers serving under the reins of capitalism are often driven to sell their potential for a lower value. Would it be that the medical practitioners have been exploited and now choose to exploit the patients? Or is it a scenario of an unguided society where laws to protect the citizens are not enforced?
In Philosopher Thomas Hobbes’s egoistic discourse humans are selfish by nature and thus create instruments that would enforce ethics and justice such as government, prisons, courts of law, and more. If these Institutions fail then humans are left to entertain their selfish whims that negate humanity and tend towards animalism.
In the traitors’ paradise, it is common to see the card that reads promises are made to be broken. This is the disgusting card being laid on the medical table for patients to see during the COVID pandemic both nationally and internationally. Is humanity failing itself?