TTF: The president of the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA), Dr Ravindran R. Naidu, said that the basic rule in the medical profession is to follow the Hippocratic Oath (see news item below). He said this in response to a statement by the Kelantan deputy mentri besar, Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah, that seemed to support the idea of surgeons performing amputations under Hudud law.
According to Ravindran, a statement by the World Health Organisation (WHO) underlined the duty of every physician, which, according to him, was to save people and not do harm. Now, not only is my job as The Third Force to be a people’s conscience, I’m also duty bound to help put things into proper perspective whenever issues are deliberately misconstrued or slanted to prejudice the public.
Ravindran’s opinion seems to fall into the latter category, though I’m not sure if he’s deliberately attempting to confuse the people or if he’s genuinely misinformed. He claims it to be wrong for surgeons to assist in amputations as it would contravene the Hippocratic Oath and the position taken by the WHO. Well, let’s take a minute to examine the oath here.
In its original form, the oath begins with the following statement:
“I swear by Apollo the Healer, by Asclepius, by Hygieia, by Panacea, and by all the gods and goddesses, making them my witnesses, that I will carry out, according to my ability and judgment, this oath and this indenture.”
I’m not sure if Ravindran (or even the health Minister, for that matter) believes in Greek Gods or even if the version physicians recite today contains that paragraph. What I do want to point out is that the original version of the oath was designed to appease “healing Gods” by promising to uphold certain standards, one of which is reflected in the third paragraph:
“I will use treatment to help the sick according to my ability and judgment, but never with a view to injury and wrong-doing.”
Now, is amputation under Hudud (when necessary) a treatment?
According to Islam, it is. Without going into reasons amputation is needed or the avenues that need to be exhausted before one’s limb is amputated, the punishment is meant as a deterrent to crimes that have the potential of bringing further harm (both physical and psychological) to the criminal himself (or herself).
That having been said, if a physician were to amputate a person’s limb pursuant to Syariah requirements, there may be risk of harm typically associated with surgery, though that risk is minimised if the surgery is conducted in accordance with established scientific methods in the strictest sense possible.
Unless Ravindran is limiting his perception on the concept of ‘harm’ to the physical limitations the amputee would have to endure, the surgery is meant to prevent harm from coming to both the amputee and the society at large. In essence, the surgeon would be doing a service to the ummah by carrying out the wishes of God pursuant to requirements by the Islamic Syaria.
Furthermore, in no way does the Hippocratic oath state explicitly what the word ‘harm’ entails. Both Ravindran and Kamalanathan need to note that the original version of the oath was authored by Hippocrates back in the medieval era before the coming of Moses or even the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). It should be noted that the era was rife with ignorance, a fact I pointed out in a recent article (READ HERE). Back then, people like Hippocrates and even Aristotle and Plato believed they were Godsend and superior to mankind.
Tell me, do you subscribe to this line of thinking, Ravindran?
Or do you pray to the healing Gods Healer, Asclepius, Hygieia and Panacea? The next time you decide to present your views on anything related to Hudud, make sure you have a Muslim cleric by your side, one who can attest to the validity of your viewpoints. Wouldn’t it piss you off if a Muslim cleric were to suddenly comment on something that related to Hinduism, however indirect or remote that relationship may be?
And the same goes for the director-general of Health, Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah. I presume that this guy is just as ignorant as Ravindran is. While he may be Muslim, he certainly seems misguided insofar as his understanding of the Islamic Syaria goes.
Please, have some respect for the religion of Islam!
KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) backed the Health Ministry today in objecting to Kelantan’s proposed recruitment of surgeons to carry out the hudud punishment of amputation of limbs.
MMA president Dr Ravindran R. Naidu said the basic rule is to follow the medical profession’s Hippocratic Oath, as well as the statement by the World Health Organisation — that the duty of physicians is to save people and not do harm.
“We are supposed to save people from illnesses and injuries, not harm them, and this is our stance.
“This should be applicable to all registered doctors in Malaysia,” he told Malay Mail when contacted today.
This was in response to the Kelantan deputy mentri besar Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah who reportedly said recently that the PAS state government would study Qatar’s implementation of hudud, a harsh Islamic penal code, suggesting that surgeons execute the hand amputation punishment.
When asked what sort of action can be taken against a medical practitioner who chooses to proceed with the act, Dr Ravindran said the MMA was not a regulatory body.
He said the regulating body to impose any action was the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC).
“Should someone lodge a complaint to the MMC or the Health Ministry, then they would have to take action as it goes against all the regulations of medical practices,” he said.
Earlier today, Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, who is also the MMC president, cited the medical maxim, “first, do no harm,” in response to the Kelantan government’s proposal for surgeons to amputate limbs under hudud law.
“We must not violate our professional oath of doing no harm to the human body. As stated ‘Primum non nocere’ which means ‘first, do no harm’,” Dr Noor Hisham posted on Facebook as he shared a Free Malaysia Today report headlined “Muslim docs say no to punitive amputation.”
Source: The Malay Mail Online