‘Self immolation’ not the ideal solution for all ills

Published : 12:02 am  May 15, 2018 | No comments so far |  | 


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Text & Pics By Rekha Tharangani   

Though a, doctor I myself cannot resist the idea of revealing to everyone, that self immolation is not the answer to ones sufferings over frustration, despair, incurable sicknesses or loneliness. Some indulge in this act in order to scare anyone who caused he or she the unbearable suffering. These individuals grab the time and care of the medical service which could have been used to treat a genuine accident victim.   

CITY-DM-6These remarks were made by the Chief Plastic specialist surgeon of the Colombo National Hospital Plastic and Burns unit Dr. Duleep Perera, addressing a media briefing in creating a social awareness, on the rampant number of women being admitted to hospitals, consequent to attempts of self immolation.   

In the last year 61 patients from areas in and around Colombo were admitted for treatment, and among them there is a woman who had set herself on fire when her husband had declined to accompany her on Wesak sightseeing. She had suffered more than 50 percent injuries due to burns. There are six beds in the ward and all occupied by women who had self immolated themselves over family issues.   

Dr Perera bemoaned that at present, there are many patients suffering from Kidney diseases, patients who have lost their sight, those with bone cancer and damaged liver, who are yearning for organs for transplantation so that they may see, or live another day. Even your hair can be donated. If you can overcome the rage that had overtaken you and forcing you to end your life, you can create hope to so many who love their lives and hope to live another day.   

He said further that a patient with burn injuries is not admitted to the ICU of any hospital as there are more critical patients in need of such assistance. The cost of health care and attention provided for a patient with burn injuries is colossal and sometimes exceeds a million rupees. Even after spending so much one cannot regain the original looks. You return to your homes with a devilish looking personality, to the severe embarrassment of your loved ones. The indifference expressed by your loved ones at your changed looks, drive you again towards further misery. It is also disheartening that the children of mothers who have gone through this urge of punishing one’s own self, undergo much embarrassment in the society they move around. Families have broken up, and the offspring become a burden to the society.   

Therefore he suggests that a proper counseling programme be in place, and a dialogue instituted to educate the women folk on the dangers of hasty decisions and the misery and suffering that entails the future predicaments.