This is something that gets my goat, each time I come across it, and I believe it is the worst kind of insensitivity that exists. Because a doctor is meant to maintain confidentiality of a patient, what is discussed inside a doctors chamber is meant to stay that way. But more often than not it does not, and the worst bit is, instead of being the party who is in control, being the one who is doling out the moolah, the patient is the helpless one, knowing no better than to have to deal with his most personal details being out in the open.
Years back, I had been to a plush gynecologist's clinic in south Bombay with a friend. Now we are talking about, one of the best gynecologist's in the city, where there is a waiting list of 4-5 months for an appointment, and each appointment is as pricey as it gets, three receptionists, someone to take down records and the works. The clinic, like most gynecological clinics was more of a fertility treatment centre. I was sitting in the waiting area, flipping through magazines, when out came a couple, aged in their early forties I am guessing. And off went the main receptionist rattling out tests, where they need to get it done. These were things like sperm counts, ovulation, as personal as it gets. The receptionists nonchalantly, and very audibly asked them about the lady's cycles, dates, when they should get the tests done. I was filled with revulsion. Is this not breach of ethics, is this not being insensitive to the highest degree. The worst was, the couple kept answering, feeling conspicuous, embarrassed, and feeling there is no other way to go about it. How does it feel? I can only imagine,and doing just that much makes me feel so terribly vulnerable and violated. I don't visit the doctor for publicity to my health issues, I go there for treatment, hopefully in the privacy of the clinic/hospital or wherever else.
Have you ever walked past a doctor's chamber with the door wide open, while a consultation is underway within, with every word being clearly audible to you. It so disgusts me, that I cannot even express it in words. Just this weekend, I was at the hospital for a blood test, and while waiting near the lab for my turn, I witnessed something equally repulsive. There a was man in the chair, waiting for his test, while a lady, I am guessing his wife, was waiting for him at the door. The technician suddenly says aloud, real loud in the silent confines of a hospital, "Yes, there is a special test, we can do a sperm test." Equally moronic people waiting outside turned to have a good look at the man inside, and my insides turned at the lack of discretion.
Is that what visits to doctors are supposed to be like, where I go to get healed, and instead come out, with my every gory problem laid out in the open for public consumption. The incidents I am telling you about are just a couple of the many I have witnessed. I have seen worse during my one week stay in the nursing home post delivery, and this insensitivity never ceases to disgust me. Every person who works in the health care industry deserves to be given strict training in the ethical and moral codes of their profession. They need it, and need it bad. It is never a happy occasion visiting doctors, and to make it a miserable experience due to lack of discretion simply stinks.
While many people, say it is an everyday affair for the doctors and other medical staff, and hence they are not sensitive, here is what I have to say, this is a profession they chose, not one they were forced to adapt. Is it similarly acceptable, if the defence personnel or the policemen for that matter randomly shoot and kill people, just because it is something they do everyday? I think not, and if the medical personnel cannot really understand their responsibilities, it needs to be put in as rules in their field of work. Does this happen everywhere in the world or are there places where stricter rules, and may I say code of ethics is in place?