Saturday, February 13, 2010

Final Goodbye to Pakcik Azhar

Today I shared the loss of a man.... so dear to his kids. Although he was the father of my bro-in-law, I was at the ICU ward accompanying my sister to read the Yassin and kept my sister's strength up. It was a very sad day for Hasrul and his family. It was even sadder thinking about his dad who was in quite a high spirit on the day he was wheeld into the Operating Theatre for a heart op. Actually he was in good health before the blood test which found a lump in his heart and the hospital recommended surgery. He was not a sick man.... he was playing golf and travelling around and the surgery changed his fate forever.

Right after the op, the doctors said he was in stable condition. I went to visit him at ICU and I saw that his face was swollen. The doctor said it was the effect of the medication. Who was I to comment? I am not in the medical profession and since the doctors kept saying he is stable, everyone was at ease.

This is the 3rd week he was admitted to the Hospital and his conditioned just worsened. The doctors said they can't do much to help him anymore. I seriously do not buy that reason. I had a talk with my sis that night and she kept saying that the doctors are not updating the family and advising them what to be done next. Then it occured to me, the article Dr Yunus wrote on Consent and putting the emphasis on communicating to the family on patient's medical condition. It was so apt and I would have to agree even more with Dr Yunus on the issue. The problem is about talking to the family and explaining to them on medical condition of the patient and advising the family on the best course of action. Not just explaining but using the right words and making it simple enough for a laymen to understand. But that does not seem to be the case at all. Doctors have to realised that their responsibility does not stop at the operating theatre...the post op is the most important part of their job. The challenge at the OT is nothing compared to the challenges awaiting for them outside. Meeting the expectation on the family members on how to embrace changes of the recuperating patient is so much more challenging and if not dealt well would just put all the efforts in the OT a mere hardwork which is not appreciated at all.

The swollen face should not have occured at all but who am I to say, the family should be more insistent and the doctors should be aware that certain drugs do not bode well with patient medical condition prior to surgery.

Although the family thought it was Allah's will to take him away, I, for one believed that the doctor did not do enough for the patient post surgery. The irony is the patient died of the hell did that happened and why was that not tackled earlier? Frankly I don't buy the explaination. Although I accepted that everything that had happened was for the best but I still felt it was not his time to go. The death was so sudden. As I stand corrected, I seriously think the medical profession should brush up their communication skills and try to place more empathy to the family of the patient. Otherwise, the people outside the surgery room will be blaming the medical team for the rest of their lives.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I read with great interest an article written by Dr Yunus Gul titled "Consent" which was uploded on MMC's website. The description of the case was apt as it addresses the pertinent issue of patient's right to all relevant information (i.e. medical information) communicated in a comprehensible manner. I very much concur to the need for an explanation by the physician on the procedure to be undertaken and its inherent risks and benefits. The physician should be conversant enough to explain the medical jargons in non-technical terms to facilitate understanding, hence, enlighten the patient as to what lies ahead during surgery and post-surgical treatment.

It is not uncommon for patient to disagree to the recommended procedure but a patient who is in pain would just agree to the proposed treatment, without agreeing to seek a second opinion . The article suggested that signature in the consent form merely indicated the patient had made informed decision about undergoing proposed treatment. Thefore, the call for physicians to explain about the treatment in a manner that promotes understanding would somehow reduce the risks of claim or complaint by the patient on the physician, although at most times, physicians are acting in the best interest of the patient.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sirah Junjungan Musical Theatre

I had the chance to watch Sirah Junjungan musical theatre last week and was really touched by the storyline. The seats in Istana Budaya was not full compared to the days of PGL musical. But this musical produced by Erma Fatima was indeed a success as it managed to touched the hearts of the audience. I was informed that the producer had difficulty finding sponsors for this musical and that however, did not deter her from producing a remarkable musical. Well done Kak Erma!