Not medical ethics, but ethics of medicos

This morning I am driving along St Mary’s Road, near Park Sheraton, shortly to turn left. A Hyundai Verna is stopped at the left side of the road. A woman on a scooter, ahead of me, is turning left, when the Verna swings out without any indication and knocks her and her scooter to the ground.

So far, so normal. If you drive a lot in Chennai, you’ll see this sort of thing at least a couple of times a week.

The driver gets out of the car, I assume to check that she’s OK. Instead, as she’s picking herself up, he’s berating her. For what — turning without honking? I don’t know.

After a half minute of watching, I get out of my car (I can’t move until they stop fighting anyway). The Verna has a “Dr” sticker on the rear windscreen, so I look inside the car to see if it has a passenger. It does — a distinguished-looking white-haired guy coolly smoking a cigarette. I ask him if he is a doctor. He says he is.

Picture that. The doctor’s car knocks a woman to the ground, and he stays in there smoking a cigarette.

I point out that the driver pulled out without any kind of indication, I was watching the whole thing from behind. I ask him to get out of the car and apologise. He gets out, but doesn’t apologise. Another passer-by agrees that it was his driver’s fault entirely, and adds that his driver has no right to shout at a woman like that. The doctor looks on at the scene glassily and does nothing.

I ask him again if he’s really a doctor. “Yes I am. What are you?” he asks belligerently.

I am, among other things, a blogger. So I’m blogging this. I did take his photograph, and his car’s, and suspect it would be rather easy to identify him. But I think there’s no case for the police here — the woman wasn’t hurt, and I think her bike wasn’t damaged either. It’s just that I would not want to go to a doctor who has (as I told him) no respect for human life. The world is full of jerks, but a jerk whose job is to care for other humans is another matter. His patients should be aware of the extent of his concern when his own driver knocked a woman down, and make an informed decision on getting treated by such a man.

So I’m tempted to put his photo, and his car number, up here at least. But at the same time I know the dangers of vigilantism and don’t think it’s the best course of action.

What would you do?

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