“Having worked briefly in India as a doctor, the one thing that shocked me the most was the complete denial of the patient’s consent. This wasn’t just true of government institutions but private too. Although in government institutions this was far worse. The patient was treated with little more dignity than a guinea pig. The more disenfranchised, the more poor, the more voiceless the person was the more doctor treated him as an experimental object. Doing whatever he/she wanted to do without explaining what was happening to them, why and what for.
“Women coming in for childbirth were the most vulnerable and consequently the most abused group. Without asking their consent, the junior doctors were allowed to learn their skills on them without as much as “by your leave”. In private practice, they were routinely subject to procedures that were not clinically warranted for financial gain. The other most vulnerable group were the people with mental health issues who were given no support, explanations except pumped full of medication which left them more disabled than helped.
“I am not therefore surprised when the majority of physicians in India support the brutal denial of health and human rights of Kashmiris. Standing with a beleaguered people requires professional, ethical, moral and probity standards that a doctor should have and majority of Indian doctors demonstrably do not possess. A discussion about why this is for another day but millennia of dehumanising casteism doesn’t disappear with a few years training.”