Friday, November 11, 2011

The Patient's Right

I was asked by my senior consultant what I thought about the issue of former Philippine President Gloria Arroyo wanting to seek medical consult abroad but the current government of President Noynoy Aquino denying her request. My quick reply was to agree with retired Roman Catholic Archbishop Oscar Cruz, that Gloria should be allowed to seek consult abroad with a guarantee that she will come back.

As Bishop Cruz pointed out, to which Department of Justice Secretary De Lima also acceded, every patient has the right to seek medical consult and to choose the doctor she wants.

It is a medical ethical issue whether to allow Gloria Arroyo to exercise her right to seek medical help and to choose where it will come from. (Click here for other ethical issues Young Doctors face). The ethical issue becomes bigger when the denial of such right is measured against the right of the people of the Philippines to justice. Critics want to be sure that Gloria will be present to face charges of electoral fraud in 2004. The justification is that the right of over 90 Million Filipinos is 90 Million times greater than her individual right.

Can the right of a person be greater than another that he/she can trump down another person's right? Doesn't my right ends when your right begins? Sometimes I wonder whatever happened to our Christian virtues? What will happen when people are guided by their virtues in making ethical decisions? Oh, just like heaven...

No comments: