Account of a female surgeon when she had to operate upon a rapist.
Few days back, I was scheduled to operate a hernia(surgical condition) on a prisoner. Usually we donot see criminal records of the prisoners but as I was going through his paper work, I happened to read through his permission letter from the Incharge of the jail which mentioned the various IPC acts under which he was punished. Upon decoding the various numbers, I found that he was charged for ' illegal and forceful confinement of a minor with forcing of unnatural sexual contact along with threatening with life!'. I just stood there stunned for a moment. Random vague images racing through my head making me want to throw up out of disgust and anger.
I watched him as he lay helpless infront of me, under anaesthesia. Totally on my mercy.
For sometime I even forgot that I am here to operate upon him, just looking at his face, with all the anger seen on my face.
I was the only one in the operation theatre who by chance went through his criminal history. For the rest he was just a person from the jail.
Before I started the operation, my mind kept on saying that do not operate upon him, let him suffer. But I was in my surgical gown and my surgical attire is much powerful than my mind, and I picked up the scalpel.
As my hands start doing what they were trained for; my mind kept blasting me with random thoughts, with random images, forced me to look at his face again and again. Whom rest of the team was seeing as a patient, I was seeing a devil in him. And all random thoughts pumped my anger- should I do penectomy too? Should I castrate him? Can I make him bleed to death? How could he! To a child!
Believe me I literally thought of cutting his artery and make him bleed to death, and as a surgeon I know what to and how to cut, with the precision that it will look a natural bleeding complication related death, with no question of negligence on my part, that child will get justice and this devil will meet his death.
Then this small voice crept in, ‘You are a Doctor and you can do no harm’ and it repeated ‘You are a Doctor and you can do no harm’.
“He's helpless, he trusted you, you have to look out for him, do your work.” And then I didn’t look at his face again and did what I came for. Operated with the same precision I operate any other patient. Though was mentally disturbed and angry even at the end but my anger could not compromise my accuracy. As a consolation I said to myself – ‘Being a doctor, I can’t do any harm, let his fate hound him, let the god decide’
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