I feel like I’ve been writing a lot about my not so positive experiences of late lol. But I figured I don’t want to come across as living an unrealistic lifestyle where I mask my pains and only show the good sides, so here’s to hoping more positive times come up in the near future!
So I’m going to tell you about the difference between medical school and reality that I was faced with last week. As you may know, I was the International Federation of Medical Students Association’s African Regional Assistant in the Standing Committee on Human Rights and Peace for two tenures; so I taught people about Medical Ethics in different countries around Africa.
I use a simple mnemonic – ABCD Autonomy, Benevolence, Confidentiality, Do no Harm.
But last week, I got hooked on A for Autonomy. Autonomy simply means respecting the wishes of your patient and understanding that they have the right to accept or decline treatment after they have been thoroughly informed of the consequences of their decision. I lost a patient to this ethic and I didn’t know how to feel. Is it fair that someone’s actions or inactions could cause the loss of a life and you have to stand by because of the rules? I can’t say.
What do you think? Personally, I was at a loss for words in that moment.
I hope I don’t go through it again, but knowing the state of healthcare in Nigeria, I most probably will. Sigh.
Till next time,
Dr. ETP xo