You are here

Hippocratic Oath or Hypocrisy?

Hippocratic Oath or Hypocrisy?
Doctors at Crossroads

First Edition
  • Anita Sikand Bakshi - Practising Paediatric Intensive Care Specialist, Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi.

September 2018 | 232 pages | SAGE Select

Medicine was until recently a greatly respected profession supported by trust and faith on one side and compassion and care on the other. However, over the years, the relationship between doctors and patients has suffered. Doctors now find themselves in the news for all the wrong reasons. Labelled as ‘murderers’, ‘knife happy’, ‘organ stealing thieves’ or touts of pharmaceutical giants, they have now lost respect in the eyes of society.

When and how did this happen?

When did doctors go from being ‘Next to God’ to maut ke saudagar, as the media is so fond of labelling them?

Hippocratic Oath or Hypocrisy?: Doctors at Crossroads is the author’s journey as a doctor over three decades, from a young medical student to an experienced paediatrician. She has used her experience to highlight serious issues—demanding patients, prescribing of unnecessary investigations, hospitals run like business houses, the role of big pharmaceutical industries and so on from the point of view of both doctors and patients.

The author’s anecdotal style, which includes quotes from her many case studies, will keep the reader turning the pages eagerly till the end.

Forward by Dr Harsh Vardhan
Where It Ended
Hippocratic Oath or Hypocrisy?
Through Rose-Tinted Glasses
Becoming a Doctor
A License to Kill or Cure
Private Practice: A Dangerous Potion
Ethics, Morality and Mind Games
Tarnished Image
Healing Hands
Medical Negligence: Close Brushes
The ‘Corporate’ Mafia in Medicine
Does the Pharmaceutical Industry Rule Us?
Defensive Medicine: A Value System Changes

‘Deteriorating doctor-patient relationship in India is an issue of serious concern and I have to commend Dr Anita Bakshi’s beautiful attempt at a reflective examination of a difficult topic.’

Kamal Mahawar,
Consultant General and Bariatric Surgeon, Sunderland Royal Hospital, UK

Deteriorating doctor-patient relationship in India is an issue of serious concern and I have to commend Dr Anita Bakshi’s beautiful attempt at a reflective examination of a difficult topic. As she elegantly sums it up—there will be no winners in this war. There is an urgent need for both the medical profession and the society at large to introspect and take corrective steps before it is too late.

Dr Kamal Mahawar,
Consultant General and Bariatric Surgeon, Sunderland Royal Hospital, UK

Modern medicine has a long past, but a short history. The current phase of ‘techno’ medicine, and the infiltration of ‘marketingdriven’ ideas and overly litigious atmosphere, creates a tension between the older historical tenets and truths, and a rather less inspiring contemporary reality. The author’s journey, from a young, hopeful and optimistic medical student, to an older, wiser and often sadder and angrier clinician is described in a breezy and heartfelt manner. She shines a light on the kernel of hope and wonder that still lies at the root of medical care, while regretting the many transgressions (corporate management, cajoling by the pharma industry, the need to always have plausible deniability) that she is witness to. A heartfelt account, from the trenches and frontline of modern medical practice.

Sanjeev Jain,
Professor of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru

This book is a timely contribution to the ongoing debate by doctors and the public on the importance of ethical medical practice. There is a movement within the professional community for greater self reflection and this book raises many ethical dilemmas that doctors have to grapple with in their day to day practice. A frank reflection on the present state of medical practice by a doctor adds value for initiating dialogue within the community and the public at large. Given the deep crisis that the medical profession is faced with and growing violence from patients, this book provides insight into the complexities facing the profession at individual and institutional levels.

Prof. Rama V. Baru,
Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

The author has described the situation of doctors in India very well. Clinical practice is now looked at with fear by medical practitioners and the respect doctors used to get from the society in the past has been reduced to a great extent. It was imperative to highlight this burning issue and that has been done through the medium of this book. It is sad that prospective students of medical science are now deterred by this situation and they avoid medicine as a career whenever an alternative is available. I wish that all doctors read this book and make a conscious effort to solve this problem.

Dr Rushabh Dagli,
Associate Professor, Preventive and Community Dentistry, Rajasthan University of Health Science Editor, Journal of Advanced Oral Research

This timely book captures the life experiences of a clinician from primitive to advanced tertiary care hospitals highlighting several burning issues. Dr Bakshi talks about, ‘Is being a doctor a license to kill or cure’, the poisoning of private practice, the corporate mafia and the big pharma. She also dwells on medical negligence and cut practice, prescriptions of numerous investigations and treatment to please relatives and avoid law suits and treating a suffering patient as customer. The frustrations and the feeling of burn out and the dilemma “to pull the plug” to save the endless misery of the suffering patient and the family are all parts of being a doctor. The book offers compulsive reading as an insight into the conflict and dilemma in the practice of rational medical care.

Dr Santosh K. Bhargava,
Pediatrician Neonatologist, Formerly, Professor & Head, Department of Pediatrics, Safdarjung Hospital and University College of Medical Sciences

The last few decades has seen a rapid deterioration in the patient—doctor relationship. While doctors are increasingly being seen as having financial motives that compromise the interests of the patient, the easy access to the internet has meant that patients now have a way of checking each and every decision and prescription of their doctor. Trust, which is so integral in such a relationship is being rapidly eroded. With healthcare delivery being increasingly technology driven how will this relationship play out in the future? Can the Healthcare Industry do anything at all to build confidence? What will be the new normal in the way patients perceive their healthcare providers? This book explores the increasingly tenuous relationship and will be useful for the healthcare industry and healthcare consumers alike.

Dr Sumanth C. Raman,
Doctor and TV anchor
Key features

·         It discusses an important issue for society– the quality of our medical care.

·         The subject is of interest to the large majority of the population. The book has several interesting anecdotes and case studies everyone can identify with.

·         Presents an honest appraisal of both doctors and patients by a doctor.