The concern for religious interference in medical practise is understated in the Nigerian society even up till date.
A major contributing factor to this lack of interest in a delicate issue such as this is ignorance and hypocrisy among Nigerians, sadly.
Yesterday, a female Nigerian doctor tweeted briefly an encounter with a patient’s mother. According to her narrative, the indisposed baby needed blood transfusion. A conclusion the mother would not resort to because of her religious belief.
The doctor goes on to express her shock at the entire situation(which is unprofessional in my opinion). As I am of the opinion that Medical practitioners should be fully aware of possible religious beliefs or belief systems among patients.
The post went on social media. As usual, being an unusual story, this post gained massive attention online. Scrolling through the comment section on Instagram, a majority of the users are against this mother for ‘choosing to kill her child.’ Users called the mother all sort of names, not forgetting to also include her religion into their insults.
A minority on the other hand are of the view that the mother has a right to believe in whatever she decides.
With my limited knowledge on medical sciences, I know, and (you’ll agree with me) that medical practitioners should be primarily concerned with a patient’s well-being.
And for every individual, with life experiences, influence, and personal convictions, lies within, a belief system.
These beliefs in most cases are in turn reflected in a choice of a religious path. And which religion, comes beliefs and taboos. And some of these taboos can be heavily interfered through medical practices. A clear example being this narrative.
Nigerian Medical Practice and Humanity
The need for a proper inclusion of human-relationship should be adopted by the Nigerian Medical body. It is not enough for a medical practitioner to diagnose, prescribe, treat, perform surgery on or advise patients. It is equally necessary for medical practitioners to attend to patients with feelings and emotions.
And being human means respecting decisions of a patient, even if it means them refusing medical processes that might eventually lead to their demise.
Ultimately, every human is responsible for their own lives. And while I also agree with medical facilities being responsible for the lives of their patients, shouldn’t this responsibility in turn be projected in respecting a patients’ decisions?
The question that might possibly remain unanswered for a while is who to be held accountable in this instance. Who will wear the cap of blame for the death of this child, religion, its mother, or the leniency of the Medical facility?
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Image Credits: Mother and child, The Conversation, RELIGION AND MEDICAL PRACTICE