Is it ethical for doctors to go on strike?

Is it ethical for doctors to go on strike?

Is it ethical for doctors to go on strike?

Around 4000 doctors from the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) were on strike with a demand to ramp their security in order to protect them against rising cases of violent attacks on doctors by relatives of patients all over the country. About 40,000 doctors from the private hospitals joined in and that’s when the government knew they had to do something about it. Soon after, doctors of other states also extended support to the protest.

This incident did create chaos in the city as patients suffered from lack of treatment. Bombay High Court ordered to call off the strike and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis requested the doctors to quit the strike and resume work. Was it ethical on the part of these doctors to go on strike and ignore their call of duty?


1. The rising cases of attack

The rising cases of attacks on doctors by disgruntled relative of patients clearly showed that there was lack of security coverage for them even after all the reported incidents. The government has long ignored their peaceful pleas. They were left with no other option than to call strike to draw the attention of the state and centre government towards the issue.

2. Serious injuries

These were not simple cases of hit out of frustration. Some of these attacks were violent enough to result in serious injuries to eyes and other body parts of doctors. They are meant to save lives, agreed, but they do not carry the onus of giving their life at the expense of the relative’s agony. People have to understand and respect that doctors are not playing gods in there.

3. Mid protest attacks

A lady doctor in Sion and another doctor in Dhule were seriously injured in such violent attacks even when the protest and strike were going on. This shows the lack of people’s consideration and respect for the medical professionals. What other options did the doctors had than to sit strike? The ones that kept serving amid the lack of doctors in the city were treated with such insult and injury that it left ethics unquestioned.


1. Duty should come first

Doctors pledge to keep their duty of saving lives of people above everything else. These doctors on strike are breaking their pledge and like common factory workers sitting on strike at the expense of the healthcare of common people who would suffer unnecessarily.

2. Shortage of doctors

Doctors in large number from both private and public sector sitting on strike has taken a big toll on the healthcare of people in the city. 60 percent of the doctors in a city are on strike, majority of who are from government hospitals where poor people line up for treatment. These are the people who cannot afford private hospitals. Letting them suffer is unethical on the part of doctors.

3. Emergency units are suffering

Doctors on strike are well aware that their absence could mean serious shortage of treatment at emergency health services, including taking care of accident patients, surgeries and providing post-operative care to those admitted in various hospitals and OPDs. They continued to be on strike even as the matter was being looked into by the court.

4. Viral

The strike went viral. It caught up doctors in other states too. Resident doctors from around 40 government hospitals, including Ram Manohar Lohia, Lady Hardinge Medical College, Safdarjung Hospital did not attend work. Doctors at AIIMS extended support by wearing helmets at work. Delhi witnessed strike of doctors even from Private hospitals. Sir Ganga Ram hospital close
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  • RE: Is it ethical for doctors to go on strike? -Ethical for doctors to go on strike? (05/14/18)
  • In the wake of rising population, medical facilities are paramount and role of doctors are even more important than anything else. Government should nurture them with care, provide them with extra security and keep a check on the workload. They are highly educated and professionals in their area, they won't demand unreasonably. If any demand comes from them, it should the dealt considerably with serious note. The government should avoid the situation to zero in to strike and as a result leaving many patient stranded with no medical care. This poses a cascading losses, even doctors should resort to different techniques to draw authorities on the discussion board.
  • RE: Is it ethical for doctors to go on strike? -MANOJ (05/06/17)
  • The doctors should not go on strike leaving their patients back struggling with lives in the hospitals. A hospital without doctor is like a temple without god. They should think in a practical manner like if the patients are their family members then what they would do. Yes there are have been serious instances of being attacked by the relatives of the patient but the strike is not the only solution to resolve the problem and the government should interfere and take necessary steps to resolve this matter.
  • RE: Is it ethical for doctors to go on strike? -mamta (04/26/17)
  • I am agree with a point that a doctor is a second god for patient so they deserve some respect people have to give them....but doctors taking pladge at the time of joinging their duty to save the life of people at any cost if they sit on strike then people loss the life so they should never go to strike for raising the voice they can opt another way like inform to media n discuss or write a latter to higher authorities and all they can do instead of strike
  • RE: Is it ethical for doctors to go on strike? -Jaymin (03/28/17)
  • Doctors are on strike to aware government from their security and get solution of it.but they can select some leader doctors to represent their problem against government for their problem so they can get solution and their ethics will also not hurt..
  • RE: Is it ethical for doctors to go on strike? -Yogesh (03/27/17)
  • Doctors are the lifeline of the patients and a strike by them can work to burn the bridges of patient's life. Resorting to strike to bring issues of contention to govt.'s notice, is way harsh an alternative. To get the issue resolved, mere a symbolic activities don't work, it often go the deaf's ear. Doctors are very responsible profession, they know it quite well, they work overtime, sacrifice in many ways. They also deserve a better security in return, we should have an institution to give them their dues.