Some Rights

Humans can be right. And wrong. But all of them have rights. Their own rights. As knowledge is advancing and science is eating away edges of religion, humans are acknowledged with human rights, at least in theory. Although they are less implemented. The books stacked high in annexes of High Court and a bench of Supreme Court of the country scream about human right. Yet, no implementation. Just look around and see the injustice on the roads, at hospitals, in police stations, in law chambers. This makes anyone’s any remaining belief on humanity vanish. But some frail humanity still exists in patches, like enlightenment in shadows. A lawyer near my college fights for the poor wrongly accused and implicated in cases that otherwise would take years out of their lives. Another hero of frail humanity distributes food on a daily basis to the ward of special children. The world still has good men, a few good men. The other type outnumber them, at least in Pakistan. One of the basic beliefs that the society fails to accept from the start is the divide in men. Different religions, colors, creeds divide people. I thought that education would clean the hearts but I made two mistakes in believing so. First, the books taught at a professional college would rarely impart knowledge to respect man. In the last five years as a medical student, I never came across a single paragraph or a single line on humanity and human rights or social values in any of the academic books. However, people appearing in foreign exams like USMLE have to go through Medical Ethics and that teaches them somewhat regarding the medical ethics of a doctor towards his patients. But what for those students who are not appearing in a foreign exam? There are many moral responsibilities of a doctor some of which are summarized in that Medical ethics book. And let’s be frank. What if tomorrow, the governing authority declares that there won’t be any questions from the Behavior Sciences. Those twenty something manners and etiquette which now at least students come across shall be forgotten. One of my friends is preparing for such exams and she keeps asking me such questions to which I have no answer. A wife aborted a child without telling the husband. What would be the responsibility of the doctor if the husband blames the doctor for not telling him? Again, I had no answer. I have seen people clash with doctors. Once a man walked into the Gynecology ward with a pistol in his hand. When the guards tried to stop him, he brought more armed me. The reason was a wife whose crime was delivering a daughter instead of a son. Such a husband is a worry for the whole society and not for just the doctor. The crippled Pakistani system of medical education teaches only one medical ethic. Ask the patient for consent and start examining. They never even say to listen to what the patient says. After that thank the patient and move to the next patient. Like those who haven’t read any book on patient ethics would know no more than these two steps. A teacher from Lahore presided over a seminar at my college. That was the only class on medical ethics that I ever attended. I once a hijaabi teacher what if the patient stops me from removing her veil. The teacher silenced me in front of the whole class and I never attended her class again. Patients turnover has increased year after year and until the country becomes a developed one this trend would continue. There will be excellent doctors and students who would diagnose patient properly but would never know about medical ethics. They will forget a basic thing – patient is a human but like all the other humans whose rights we have forgotten, patient’s rights are forgotten too.

Anyone who would read these words would be a human. The one who writes is a human too. Both have rights. Human rights. Every geographic place has a charm because of humans. Otherwise we are left with land and architecture or vast emptiness. Just look at the Taj Mahal. It was never built for the sake of architecture alone. The charm of that piece of art and architecture is because of a human. Otherwise it’s just a building. A beautiful artful building. Another building. A man is likely to develop emotions from his experiences. These emotions become a mirror to our rights. A human acted like an angel through her kindness. I never saw white wings on her shoulder though. She taught about rights and her words reflect in actions I do and the rights I try to keep intact. My experience lives on in my emotions and passes through my actions. For sure, she was an angel. But angels have no rights issues. They are not bound in laws, in wishes and in other desires of mortals. One day the angel fell. I saw her transform into a demon with fiery eyes and a red tail. But even demons don’t have rights issue. It is the human who through his life depict what rights a human has got and what he can do to protect them. Even to break the rights, you got to be a human. Right?
Aamir Bilal