medical ethics and bioethics

The 4 ains (عين)

عيادة -eyada- (a clinic), عربية -arabiya- (a car), عروسة -arousa- (a bride), and عزبة -ezba- (a farm) are the 4 عين (ains) that a future physician would be promised – in the Arabic folklore – along his struggle to become a notable physician. In the past, the medical doctors; Arabic: (singular) Tabib or Hakim, were commonly clustered in certain families with special note of nobility and luxury. At those times, medical knowledge and interest were almost inherited like other heritages and the intentions behind medical practice were largely moral. This view has changed dramatically in our present time as the majority of physicians come out of families that might not have a single physician along a whole previous century. As time passed on, and due to other social and economic changes, the physician’s work has become, like other professions, a living-earning work.

In the enchantment of becoming a medical doctor with rising dreams of respect and fame the physician has to accomplish a balance between academic and personal satisfaction and an agreeable financial condition. In this regard, the physician has to afford the main bulk of social burden, compared to other professionals, because a considerable number of people would be unfair in exploiting the beneficent nature or aspect of the medical services especially when dealing with a highly spirited and shy ‘doctor’. Very shamefully is that a kind of ‘tug-of-war’ between the doctor and the patient is not infrequently seen instead of a clear and transparent handling. The drop in the moral attitude of some doctors (service providers) and/ or some patients (service receivers) could be fueled by extremely shallow perception of the medical service and life as a whole from either side or both sides.

My present idea about this ‘financial’ and ‘administrative’ problem of the physician’s work is to declare and ask for the ‘medical service fee’ as long as the context of the medical service permits. In general, the physician should tell the patient and/ or his relatives whether he would need to get the medical fee or he would be able to dispense with it before starting seeing the patient and providing the medical service. One could note every case with date, medical problem and provided service together with the estimated  fee regardless whether it could be paid or not. This archive would help both professional and socioeconomic performances of the physician being a form of medical case and turnover registry.