BEING a practising pathologist, I feel the need to highlight malpractices and lack of medical ethics at a so-called private, ‘prestigious’ cancer hospital in Lahore. My father is a known case of hepato-cellular carcinoma and has been currently getting treatment under the care of a leading oncologist at a private hospital in Karachi. As the aforementioned hospital in Lahore claims to be Pakistan’s leading cancer hospital, I wanted to have a second opinion on the treatment my father is getting.

The hospital concerned has a rather lengthy email procedure for taking an appointment. We followed that. But to my astonishment, every time I emailed them to get an appointment, I was told that the oncologists there had refused to give any opinion about my father’s case.

This is totally absurd and strange because seeking a second opinion is nothing but a patient’s right. Medical ethics demand that doctors must give a valid reason for their refusal to give an opinion about a patient’s illness.

Furthermore, the hospital concerned has this ridiculous policy of not forwarding a case to any other doctor if one doctor has refused to give his/her opinion even without a legitimate reason. There is no response on repeated complaints; rather, now I have been advised to look for any other hospital.

My question is: if a cancer patient is supposed to look for a doctor somewhere else, what role does the cancer hospital in Lahore play in this country? What is it there for? Somebody needs to answer.

Dr Kiran Jabeen
Karachi

Published in Dawn, May 28th, 2023

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