The value of a life

“The dilemma occurs when the doctor gets a call in the middle of the night – there has been a road traffic accident and the family of the deceased vehicle driver is willing to donate the liver to a needy patient in the hospital. The reports of the donor , match with the medical criteria required for a liver transplant with both his patients. Who is to be the recipient for the precious organ?”

‘Generosity when channeled positively often results in heroic deeds and highly acclaimed achievements’ Are words he sees glaring in front of him on a placard from the back of the cabbie. The old cabbie driver has different ‘pearls of wisdom’ for each day of the week. As he enters the hospital compound. He is in a quandary – who is to be recipient of the life saving organ? His first patient is a young woman who has recently had a child after many years. Her family can hardly afford to pay for the cost of the transplant operation. The other patient is a wealthy middle aged man whose business interests are expansive, whose family life is indifferent as he is separated from his wife. His children are well settled and are not interested in him.

The dilemma is in the Doctors mind. He remembers the Hippocratic oath that he will not work for money but for the welfare of the patient. Was it less than a month ago that the Business man had barged into the surgeon’s house. He had thrown a bundle of notes on the table. The doctor had explained to him that the woman’s heart was more precarious and in greater need of the transplant .The business man laughed saying that her family would never be able to pay for her. The young doctor disclosed that he had assisted the lady patient by applying for a grant for her medical expenses from a Charitable Trust.

The Doctors cell phone rings, it is the business man who tells him that he has come to know about the donor organ and requests him to meet him as he has something to say.

The doctor walks into his hospital suite and finds the businessman very quiet and resigned.

“ Do you know to which trust you have applied for aid for the young lady “ he asks the Doctor.

The doctor mumbles the name.

“This trust was started by my Mother and has been run by our family. I am the principle trustee. I came across your application this morning and I know the young lady. She is a distant cousin of mine. I have known her from a distance. Please give her the organ , she has her whole life in front of her and I will see to it that the Trust takes care of her entire hospital expenses. ”

The doctor was shocked he had nothing to say…… The words he had read in the cabbie a little while earlier were almost prophetic. He often came across these unexpected twists in the lives of the people he interacted with.


Posted in Short Stories | value of a life