Friday, August 04, 2006

Medical Professionalism - some Indian doctors' version

Something not requiring any commentary... according to a report issued today by news agency Reuters:
Three Indian doctors caught on camera apparently agreeing to amputate the healthy limbs of beggars are to be questioned by the Indian Medical Council, an official said on Tuesday.

Secretly-filmed footage taken by the CNN-IBN news channel and broadcast on Saturday showed one of the doctors asking for 10 000 rupees (about $215) to amputate a lower leg, leaving a stump that may draw sympathy -- and a few rupees -- from passersby.

He then suggests chopping off three fingers from the man's left hand.

Police said one of the three doctors had been questioned and denied the allegations, but that no arrests had been made.

The doctor, from Ghaziabad in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh and a satellite town of the capital, New Delhi, explains how he can stitch up blood vessels in a healthy limb, causing it to blacken with gangrene over a few days.

Post scriptum:
Dena Seiden added this: 'I was in India for four months in the winter of 1983-1984. At that time, I encountered many children who had limbs amputated at the direction of their parents as they would be more effective beggars. I can attest that it is quite effective when one is traveling fourth class on Indian trains and a child thrusts his/her stump into your half asleep face. I was in 16 different health care centers during those months, but I never found a physician who admitted to the procedure. My impression was more that the parents did it themselves or found a local person who was known for doing amputations of children's limbs.'

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