I saw in the newspaper the other day that the government, alarmed by the rising tide of reports and complaints about inhuman callousness, irresponsibility and greed among doctors all over the country, is mulling over the idea of including a course on human rights in medical colleges by way of a corrective, so that the next generation of doctors may be sensitized to be better human beings, and not merely technically competent (the two are not as independent of each other when it comes to dealing with humans as most people think) while dealing with people in their care.
Given the prevailing social climate of greed is good and making money is everything, who will lay bets against me that such a course, if implemented, would be any more effective than the environmental education syllabus introduced in schools more than a decade ago has been in making more environmentally responsible citizens, or self-imposed codes of conduct, such as there exist, have made teachers, policemen, mediapersons, business executives and politicians more disciplined and service-oriented on the whole?
Physician, heal thyself, goes the hoary adage. I shall insist that it applies equally strongly to all the other vital services. And that in today’s social ambience, only a few isolated eccentrics are bothered about upholding certain minimum standards and ideals: all the rest have become so dedicated to the blind chase of easy lucre that the dividing line between right and wrong has become blurred, if not invisible, a long time ago…anything goes as long as you can get away with it, and you are not the victim.