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Cebu priest: No patients’ rights for homos?

Patients too have rights. In fact they have another set of rights based on the Universal Human Rights that are uniquely their own. This is one the first lessons I learned in my Bioethics class a few semesters ago.

Among those rights of a patient are the following:

“Respect and Non-discrimination: You have a right to considerate, respectful care from your doctors, health plan representatives, and other health care providers that does not discriminate against you.”

“Confidentiality of Health Information: You have the right to talk privately with health care providers and to have your health care information protected. You also have the right to read and copy your own medical record. You have the right to ask that your doctor change your record if it is not accurate, relevant, or complete.”

The two are mutually connected and protect both the dignity and privacy of a patient. Two elements that are fundamental to a successful, effective and efficient health care delivery.

Based on these rights health care procedures and protocols are based and built around. Since human life is at stake health care professionals and providers are known for their strict adherence to such rights and protocols. After all, it is founded on the Hippocratic Oath.

Doctors are humans too and so from time to time we see foul ups. One case in particular is the video uploaded in YouTube dubbed the “Cebu Posterior Surgery Scandal” in which a surgical team captured on video the, rather embarrassing but successful, removal of perfume bottle from a patient’s rectum. Adding insult to injury, the surgical team was even shown to celebrate the success of the procedure to a certain extent at the expense of the patient’s dignity.

The acts caught on the video have already sparked outrage among patients’ rights and thankfully, the government has taken steps to address the issue while Rep Riza Hontiveros-Baraquel seeks a probe (no pun intended) about the scandal.

Clearly, patients’ rights and hospital protocols have been violated. Justice must be served.

But hold on. From the other side of the fence, comes another player, whom like the surgical team has a problem appreciating patients’ and basic human rights.

The Inquirer has the story:

Msgr. Achilles Dakay, spokesperson of the Archdiocese of Cebu, Wednesday said the doctors and nurses who had made fun of an anesthetized male patient in the operation room of the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) and uploaded a video of the surgery on YouTube should not be blamed solely for the scandal.

“We are asking everyone not to forget or to bypass the main issue: The wrong act of a guy with another man,” Dakay said in an interview over the Church-run Radio Veritas. “People are not talking about what happened before the operation—the homosexual act that was done very badly.”

Dakay said everyone should be reminded of “the wrong act that the guy did to the homosexual.”

“We should be ashamed. It’s not just scandalous, it’s very shameful,” he said.

When asked by radio hosts Ariel Ayala and Chona Yu of the purported degradation of values in Cebu, Dakay said homosexual acts were prevalent in the city.

“We feel sorry for what is happening here and maybe we could partly be blamed for it,” he said, adding:

“They are blaming the doctors for what they [did], but I think they should blame the guy for what [he and his partner] did.”

Dakay also said there should be a delineation between homosexuality as an orientation and homosexuality as an act.

“We should sympathize with them because they were born that way and made that way, but if they did what is prohibited, then that is another thing,” he stressed.

It appears, from the view of the Catholic Church, being gay or homosexual is a license to be stripped of your rights and be the subject of mockery, discrimination and ridicule.

being gay or homosexual is a license to be stripped of your rights and be the subject of mockery, discrimination and ridicule

True that the Church official is correct in saying that the patient was partly to blame had he not engaged in homosexual acts but that is an entirely different issue for the point here is that you have 15 health professionals violating the rights of a patient and established hospital protocols.

At the current dismal state of the health care system here in the Philippines where thousands of doctors and nurses are leaving the country, the next thing you want are health professionals who are still around goofing off, making fun of patients at their most vulnerable times, taking videos of the entire thing and uploading it to the internet for every one else’s consumption.

This is perhaps the reason why the series ‘Desperate Housewives’ took a swipe at our doctors a few years ago, but that’s another story.

A reminder to the Church in Cebu of the only true Christian’s words: “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s” (Matthew 22:21)

The laws of man have been violated, again justice must be served. If the Church in Cebu wants to condemn the man, let it do so in its proper jurisdiction: in the afterlife. After all, “Dakay said homosexual acts were prevalent in the city.” Or does the gay community must pool its funds and send the Catholic hierarchy in Cebu a fat envelope or two to appease them, much like Malacanang does whenever it is caught screwing us all?

For the rest, there are lessons to be taken away from this scandal, The Warrior Lawyer succinctly writes:

…the whole situation is not without an element of humor, albeit sick. Paradoxically, while its no laughing matter, its funny. I mean, how many times have we heard the phrase “shove it up your/his/her their ass(es)” ? Well, here’s a real life situation where somebody actually did. And, thankfully, it would appear that, physically at least, the victim seems none the worse for the wear. He was apparently a consenting participant in the original sexual encounter. Things got out of hand, but hey, if you live on the edge, something like this is bound to happen, sooner or later. If its not AIDS, it would be something else.

And what of its national significance ? Think of the many moral and practical lessons this has engendered, on many levels. For the kiddies, there’s the danger of putting foreign objects in your bodily orifices. For the adventurous adults, this gives the concept of “safe sex” a whole new meaning. For the docs and nurses, this will teach them to be more caring and sensitive to their patients’ sufferings and tribulations. For us as a nation, we can have some momentary distraction from the food crisis and corruption scandals, although the analogy is kind of hard to miss. Our political leaders have been sticking it up our collective rear ends for decades.

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