Oscar-winning filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy shared a detailed statement on ‘tweeting, doctor-patient privilege, women and harassment’ in a tweet on Tuesday.
In the statement, she clarified that she did not mean to ‘suggest a sense of privilege or power’. She added that as a public figure, she has received numerous friend requests from strangers and has never brought it up. However, she stated, the friend request to her sister was sent ‘under different circumstances’. She further said that the doctor left comments on her sister’s photographs.
A few days ago, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy raised her voice over her sister’s sexual harassment in a series of tweets. Her sister got herself treated in the emergency of Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH). The doctor who treated her later sent her a friend request.
The doctor was suspended by AKUH. Later, it surfaced that the doctor was already undergoing an inquiry over several complaints lodged by other staff and faculty members. This inquiry had been going on before Sharmeen and her sister registered their complaint with AKUH.
“In this case, a doctor on call that night in an emergency ward and a stranger to us, with whom no conversation other than medical was had, was trusted with medical access to a very private examination in the ward,” she wrote in her statement. “Following this examination, he chose to seek out the patient on social media leaving comments on photographs & trying to add her as a Facebook friend.”
Sharmeen further said that “this is a serious breach of patient-doctor privilege”.
According to her, we may disagree with the manner she called out the doctor’s behaviour and her form and tone of expression but “ultimately, what happened was a breach of trust and a severe lack of professional code of conduct that led to a woman feeling violated and harassed.”
She ended her statement on this note: “And on that, I will not stay silent.”
Social media reactions
Unsurprisingly, most Pakistanis reacting to this statement were their usual old selves and started an aggressive campaign to again shift the focus from what actually happened. Here are some of the reactions devoid of any and all forms of reason or understanding of women’s issues:
On tweeting, doctor-patient privilege, women and harassment pic.twitter.com/2HoCK36wjb
— Sharmeen Obaid (@sharmeenochinoy) October 31, 2017