You Are Our Doctor; You Have No Business Becoming The Moral Police!

As she slowly recovered, she was also feeling the questioning glances on her. Every doctor on rounds would make it a point to take her marital history in detail, as if to emphasize it.

Suddenly the corridors were abuzz with movement. It’s an emergency said the nurse as she got attendants wheeling the patient on a stretcher. Quick, get her vein-Put in an IV line, she was almost shouting.

There was a war-zone built, almost, with everyone on toes getting the patient to the Operation Theatre.

Mrs. Shipra who must have been around her late fifties could give anyone a run for their money. Slim and well maintained, she was always in her best attire. Tying up her coloured hair into a high bun, her long swan like neck was highlighted more. The beads in her neckpiece shone in the sun and her crystal earrings dangled and dazzled. Her well-manicured hands showed elegance and taste both and her pink painted nails which were well shaped were trying their best to showcase themselves.

It was only last year that she had lost her husband to cancer. Till his death Shipra had been tiptoeing around her husband, getting his treatment, investigations, chemotherapy and personal care done.

Their son was an engineering graduate was in the US and was working for a well-known company.

Quick, get her scanning done said Dr. Chhaya Chaturvedi who was almost sure of her diagnosis. The ultrasound machine was carried into the OT and in no time a provisional diagnosis of a “Ruptured ectopic Pregnancy” was made.

She needs immediate surgery. Who is with her? Dr. Chhaya was worked up. Ectopic pregnancies can play havoc and are life threatening if not dealt with immediately.

There’s someone with her…A young man…may be the neighbor…The nurse muttered almost to herself.

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He was called to the entrance of the Theatre.

May I know who are you?

“I am Shobhit, her friend”.

Where is her husband? Dr. Chhaya was not convinced.

“errr….err…..She has lost her husband a year ago” said Shobhit, who by now had turned pale with fear and embarrassment.

Rolling her eyes in disbelief, Dr. Chhaya repeated Her husband is no more…and you are her friend….hmmm .

Shobhit and others could well feel the insinuations in her statement.

Had this been not an emergency endangering Shipra’s life, he would have given this doctor a piece of his mind.

But he kept his calm and said “yes.’

She needs surgery immediately. Let me explain this to you. She is pregnant and her pregnancy is in one of the tubes and not the uterus. This tube has got ruptured and she has collapsed because of that. By surgery we have to clear the mess inside her, repair her tube and save her from her falling blood pressure.

We need a consent for her surgery. Who will sign?

Shobhit could understand very well what had happened. Only that this was not a usual pregnancy. And more than that, It was a pregnancy which had blown off the lid of their clandestine relationship.

That relationship which was only the business of Shobhit and Shipra had been “exposed” and the society was up in arms to question how a widow could cross her boundaries.


A day went by in the ICU and then in the ward. As Shipra was slowly recovering from her surgical wound, she was also feeling the questioning glances on her.

Every doctor on rounds would make it a point to take her marital history in detail, as if to emphasize and add injury to insult.

The third day was her discharge from the hospital. Dr. Chhaya had called them both to her chamber to give her the discharge ticket and explain to her the treatment to be followed.

Both Shobhit and Shipra walked into the doctor’s chamber. She made them sit after the usual salutations. Looking through the upper frame of her thick glasses, she started her sermon.

Mrs. Shipra! Have you realized what you have gone through? This was not only a pregnancy which shouldn’t have happened to you; it was also in the wrong place. Have you realized that…….

Shobhit could take it no more.

“Sorry ma’am. You are our doctor. Only our doctor. Please do not become a moral-police. We both are adults and are fully aware, responsible and accountable for our actions. So, if there is anything regarding her stitches or medicines, you can go ahead.

If you have plans to harass her mentally in the name of your morality, I’m afraid, I will have to seek other actions-of which legal may be one.”

Errr…er…….Dr. Chhaya was stammering as she quickly tried to change the subject.

Shobhit held Shipra’s hand and confidently walked out, as the other doctors looked up in irritation and surprise.


Hello! Shobhit was on a video phone call with Shipra’s son Ankit from the US.

Please take care of Mumma Shobhit uncle! he was pleading.

Shobhit felt the warmth of a new family of which he was now an important part.

Editor’s note: Women regularly face #MedicalMisogyny from health care professionals. For the WHO World Health Day 2023 theme of ‘Health for All’, identifying this misogyny and ensuring #Equity in healthcare is essential. All of April, we will be sharing stories with you on this these, either personal stories or fiction. Find them all here.

Image source: a still from the film Listen, Amaya!

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About the Author

Lalita Vaitheeswaran

Lalita Vaitheeswaran is a gynecologist having a passion for writing in both Hindi and English. She has authored 6 books of poetry, both in Hindi and English, and a book of short stories in English, read more...

10 Posts | 5,705 Views

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