Tribute to our doctors and other frontliners
An oath, Merriam-Websters Dictionary says, ” is a solemn, usually formal, calling upon God or a god to witness to the truth of what one says or to witness that one sincerely intends to do what one says.”
That’s how deep an oath is.
The 17 doctors, our new heroes, who died in the fight against COVID-19 took their oath sincerely, and they were devoted to what they were sworn to do until the end. Nothing could be more heroic.
What may also give us a more concrete picture are the words in the Hippocratic Oath. This is the modern version:
I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:
I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.
I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures which are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.
I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.
I will not be ashamed to say “I know not,” nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient’s recovery.
I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know.
Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty.
Above all, I must not play at God.
I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.
I will prevent disease whenever I can, for preventon is preferable to cure.
I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.
If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.
This is how lofty these ideals are. And our doctors have given them flesh. This is why President Rody Duterte has deep admiration for them.
“May mga doktor na, mga nurses, attendants, namatay. Sila ‘yung nasawi ang buhay para lang makatulong sa kapwa. Napakasuwerte nila. Namatay sila para sa bayan. Iyon ang dapat ang rason na bakit tayo mamatay,” Duterte said.
But the president’s critics were quick to misinterpret what he said. They feast on the word lucky, trying to persuade the people that the president takes pleasure from the deaths of the frontliners, more particularly, the doctors. Of course, that’s a stretch.
Context means what comes before and what comes after. It is basic that the way you understand a statement is by knowing its context. The president honored those who died, period.
To our doctors and all frontliners, our deepest respect./dbs
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