Suffering from ‘chicken chop’!

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A slip of the hand is no fault of the mind, but when a trained medical professional makes such a slip, the quality of education may be called into question, says Tota.

When education was privatised, many ‘education’ entrepreneurs with political connections saw a golden opportunity to make money, given the fact that the education system has become an “absolute disaster” (Zaid Ibrahim’s words).

Many tertiary institutions, some of them of dubious quality, sprang up all over the country and churned out graduates at top speed. Many senior doctors and medical specialists were seriously concerned about the poor quality of doctors manufactured through accelerated programmes.

It was inevitable that horror stories about inept doctors should emerge. Some of us may have heard or read anecdotes of doctors prodding their patients with a pen or pencil when examining them. It was also reported that when a tertiary institution interviewed a doctor and asked him to define “diabetes”, his response was, “Blood got a lot of sugar”!

Christians believe Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, but four years ago in Bolehland, there was a case of a ‘Lazarus’ who rose to life after he had been pronounced dead by a ‘doctor’. Malaysians were left to wonder about the professional competence of the ‘doctor’ to ascertain whether death had indeed taken place.

Recently, a doctor signed a medical certificate issued to a student indicating that the patient was suffering from “chicken chop” – not chicken pox! Luckily, the clinic did not use the Malay spelling for chop! Otherwise it would have been “chicken cop”, which would have earned the wrath of the police, given the connotation, and, in these mad times in Malaysia, the doctor could have been plastered with a sedition charge!

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I have been reflecting on this episode. These are days of serious addictions – tobacco, alcohol, drugs, sex, smart phones, tablets, food cravings and even a desire to steal women’s undergarments. I have read about people who have an insatiable desire to gobble up dozens of hot-dogs or hamburgers daily.

Come to think of it, if someone gobbles up that many chicken chops daily, he could quite rightly be diagnosed as suffering from “chicken chop”, given the fact that poultry farmers use all kinds of hormones to fatten chicks for the market. Given this situation, one’s system could be poisoned by these hormones. Certain medical specialists treating patients for serious diseases like cancer advise their patients to avoid eating chicken as the hormones render the prescribed drugs ineffective.

Ordinary mortals can say that a slip of the hand is no fault of the mind. A surgeon cannot possibly say this to a messed up patient on the operating table.

Tota is the pseudonym of a regular contributor to our Thinking Allowed Online section.

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