Chudamani Giri

I first saw a dead body seven years ago when I was a high school student. He was a driver murdered in a bus park at night. The body was lying on the floor with no caretaker. Many rumours followed. It was a pitiable sight beyond words. A chill ran down my spine, my fate could be the same one day, I thought. I could not concentrate on my studies that day in the school. That very sight distracted me. I could not do much at home thanks to the grotesque remembrance. I had a restless night. Now I am a medical student. I have seen cadavers and dissected them. Last year when I was admitted to the hospital, there was an old man next to my bed who was suffering from dyspnoea and many other ailments. His daughter attended to him as his condition was very serious. The next day I found her weeping. I thought the man’s health might have worsened but she said that he was gone. I glanced at him, no difference at all he looked as if was sleeping.

He was taken away and another fragile person was brought in. On the day of my discharge he was also declared dead and next patient was brought in that same bed. I saw two dead persons beside my bed during that period. But I was not shocked at all. I accepted it quiet normally as I had now come to terms with the reality of life. You may call it maturity, but I say with time I have become numb to human emotions that bring tears to our eyes when we see dead persons. This is also because I was going to become a “strong” doctor. The acquiring of medical knowledge has injured my human attraction, human understanding and powerful human emotions. I am on my way to become a successful doctor. I fear that this profession might change my normal habits. All the doctors I guess go through the same sensations or a phase in their lives just as I am. So, for this lot death and ailments are nothing but an ongoing natural process. To attend to the suffering and in many cases seeing them die is part of the doctor’s daily routine. But what if the patient is the doctor’s beloved one? However exalted a person he may be, however much a professional, in the end he is a human being. So let’s cross beyond therapeutic relationship with the patients. Let’s foster human emotions and not disregard it.