A Stitch in Time Saves Nine: Let’s Draw lessons from the Larry Nassar Scandal

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JAVEID HASSAN MALIK

Last week, a viral video from Michigan state of USA was making headlines; it was a disturbing in visuals but emotional in reality, in which a father accompanying his two daughters, who were victims of sexual assault like hundreds of other girls, lost his calm on gymnastic team physician Larry Nassar and lunged at him. Nassar used to assault and prey on young girls under the guise of treatment during training. The whole episode unfolded two of his victims were recording their statement before the court and when their father asked for five minutes meet with demon Larry Nassar in isolation. The judge rejected his plea and then all of sudden; the father of the victims lost his cool and sprinted towards Nassar to attack him. However, the security detail present there stopped, handcuffed him and prevented him from harming Nassar.
It really was an emotional moment which made the victims’ father a hero on social networking sites; although, his act was illegal before the court of justice but the pain of father for his daughters increased his adrenaline to act in unlawful manner.
Now, coming to our to own valley, it wouldn’t be farfetched to say that our society too has been the victim of the Larry Nassar syndrome albeit in a different garb. On glaring example of this degeneration is some of our self-made faith healer who prey upon vulnerable people, especially women, under the veil of spirituality only to tarnish their chastity, modesty and honor. But, alas, we have not learnt lessons as we still continue to roam after them even though some of these have been found guilty of misbehavior. It hurts when so much progress has been witnessed in almost all domains of like that some of us still go to these so called “faith healers” to treat our minor ailments. It is disheartening to hear from educated persons mouth that, “X person’s hand is like an elixir for treatment, where he touches your body, you won’t suffer there for a life time”. These are sort of vague things which these faith healers propagate to exploit poor, gullible and ignorant people monetarily, morally and physically. There is no control over their increasing number; they don’t require any licensed to start their spiritual shops in every nook and cranny. Moreover, unlike our medical fraternity which is bound by medical ethics, these people are free. They then instead use religion for personal gains and interests.
Having said this, even our medical fraternity isn’t free from this menace. If we look at the ratio of women doctors to male doctors in our hospitals, it displays a sorry figure and often males outnumber female doctors. It is a serious matter of concern for a profession which demands gender equality rather than disparity. Thus, most introvert patients who, mostly include our mothers and sisters feel shy in disclosing intricate problems to a doctor (male); they prefer to zip their mouths thus aggravating their disorders The story doesn’t end at the doctor’s. Our privately owned medical labs have all male dominated technicians, who have no knowledge about ethics about dealing with patients. it has been observed more women than men suffer from Trypanophobia (fear of needles) not because it hurts but they are afraid of the person who does this. Before every doctor, the word privacy is irrelevant: one has to surrender his whole body before doctor under the bond of trust. If the same doctor misuses his authority by assaulting patients under the guise of treatment like Larry Nassar did then only we come on streets to protest for punishment. We wait for tragedy to happen, to realize our mistakes then only we awaken for our rights and demand change(s).
It is time to change. We must learn from the mistakes of other nations and we have to look for some effective and long-term solutions. We need to tune their brain rather than bruising their body with sticks. What breeds people like Larry Nassar is our ignorance and blind trust on unknown people. We must design our systems in such a way that right person is sought for the right job. For example, we should train our doctors to hold on to Hippocrates oath while working; we should have separate physical trainesr for boys and girls in our schools; we should have separate medical labs for females for medical tests where only skilled females are working. We need to train our women folk, especially in first aid matters; they should know how to check blood pressure, how to do intravenous injections so that they have to visit medical shops for minor ailments.

—The author holds an Msc in Chemistry and is NET/SLET qualified. He can be reached at: Malikjavid86@gmail.com

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