The blackened white coat of the doctors

white coat

Credit: Unsplash

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Sahiba Maniar, a 6th Semester Medical student from India, who is extremely passionate about human rights. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


Science is the mother of all curiosity. Synonymous with progress, whether science remains a boon or bane often remains one of the most debatable topics. The progress which often succours humanity neglects the way scientific power has outrun our spiritual power.

The world is constantly developing. And once you jump into the ocean of research, with the addiction to success the shores of ethics is left far behind.

Not so long ago, doctors were bestowed upon a beatific status. However the current situation is harrowing. Sensational stories of organ theft, medical negligence, unnecessary tests, cut practices, animal testing not only ring the bell of unethical practices but expose the hollowness we are a part of. In today’s world, Commercialisation has pinned down the principles of ethics and some doctors often lack the faintest scintilla of empathy.

What is the solution the world asks. The solution is simple if it’s intrinsic. The solution is nothing if it’s not. It’s a tricycle with the individual as the driving wheel, and the society and government providing support from the back leading to a beautiful world of cure, humanity and respect.

I believe a society reflects the action of an individual. It is essential to introduce the concepts of Human Rights, instil the importance of humanity, awaken a feeling of equality and indiscrimination and reinforce the idea that “You can be rich by being right.” The society needs a wipeout. The society needs to change. The society needs to adapt as a whole.

I believe the government must enforce extremely stringent laws to punish the guilty. The fear should be great enough to do no wrong. The transparency of the judiciary and bureaucracy should be maintained.

It is extremely essential to include bioethics as an important part of the curriculum. A doctor needs to be reminded the essence of his white coat is much greater than the power he wishes to abuse. He has the power to cure and care. He has the power to change and save lives.

Organisations like IFMSA and WHO, through their tireless activities unfold the unheard stories behind the closed doors and give us an opportunity to think, feel and act for those who have no voice. I believe this is where an individual “becomes the change he wishes to see”. He becomes a part of this cycle of morals, ethics and principles and I believe, there is no greater solution than this.

I belong to a fraternity that has buried the purpose of this profession. However every morning like every medical practitioner, with an intrinsic desire to save lives I reignite my passion, rekindle every hope and remind myself as to why I started. As I wear my white coat I represent a community which stands strong in every part of the world striving day and night to making every heart, beat. With a prayer in my heart and tear in my eye, I wait for a day this mobocracy back pedals it’s ugly head for a better tomorrow for the world as a whole.

As a medical student I have definitely jumped in the ocean of welfare towards mankind. However I’m a swimmer fast enough to reach the shore of ethics before I succumb to the pressure of ill hated mankind.

About the author

Sahiba Maniar is a 6th Semester Medical student from India, who is extremely passionate about human rights. She is the National Officer on Human Rights and Peace at Medical Students Association of India (MSAI). She has also attended the Human Rights for Medical Practitioners workshop in Slovenia. She is the cofounder of an NGO, Mission: Zindagi which provides “blood on demand” in rural hospitals. Extremely passionate about public speaking and writing, she has been the Best speaker at 7 national and international conferences and written for Lexicon, Indian Medical Association, SCORP Insights to name a few.

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