From the Viewsroom

When doctors take their lives

Jyothi Datta PT | Updated on May 28, 2019 Published on May 28, 2019

Payal Tadvi may have lived, had authorities been more responsive

The tragic death of Payal Tadvi is being called the “Rohit Vemula moment” in medicine, as the young doctor allegedly took her life after being subjected to casteist harassment from her seniors at a Mumbai-based public hospital.

Young medicos gathered to seek justice for their colleague, and their voices are resonating online too, as the protests become more vocal and unfortunately more political. Tadvi’s suicide comes about three years after Rohit Vemula’s.

Like Vemula’s death, Tadvi’s passing also elicits emotional reactions as student unions and public health workers call for the arrest of the three senior doctors who are said to have harassed her.

These three doctors have also circulated a letter suggesting that Tadvi had possibly succumbed to the “heavy workload” that doctors face. On their possible hand in pushing her over the edge, figuratively, they countered that they pointed out “basic duties” in the same way that their seniors had done with them.

While all of this will be investigated, Tadvi’s death has exposed caste and entitlement-based fissures in institutions besides laying bare how ill-equipped they are to tackle complaints. Tadvi’s husband and mother have stated that complaints on the harassment the young doctor faced had been raised with immediate authorities.

If only they had acted. A counsellor would have been able to decipher if this was ragging, caste-based discrimination, bullying or an inability to cope with the workload, and a life could well have been saved. As for bullies in educational institutions and workplaces, they deserve the strictest action as they always pick on soft and vulnerable targets. Cloaking it in caste, gender or any other shroud does not take away from the fact that an act of bullying is one of wilful aggression. A quality least required in our next generation of doctors.

Published on May 28, 2019
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor