Like most Singaporeans, I always try to read what Lee Wei Ling writes in the SPH papers because we get a vicarious thrill in taking a peak into the lives of the Lees: her dad, her brothers, her mum and what goes on behind the closed doors of Oxley Road.
While I’ve always found her revelations about her lengthy and multiple illnesses very humbling (I mean when someone who is so sick refuses to throw in the towel at a major hospital, why am I abandoning minor tasks simply because I want better ‘quality life’?), I’m afraid I’ve never found her articulations about her philosophy and practice as a doctor anything more than motherhood statements. Good but so what?
Then I was jolted by her account in the Sunday Times (Dec 27) of how she encouraged the mother of her severely handicapped patient to go on to have two more children — who both turned out to be normal.
Of course, there would unlikely to have been a third child, if the second, like the first, had turned out to be severely handicapped as well. Even then, that would surely be one too many!
Of course, the parents and grandparents were delighted with the additional outcomes. Perhaps also because it’s a vindication that the first child’s health problems were just an aberration and not a familial trait, who knows?
Dr Lee declared that she’s a risk taker and only in matters that concerned her. But she made an exception to advise her patient’s mother to go ahead due to “partly logic and partly sixth sense”.
I find this hugely alarming. Does logic always work? Worse still, does sixth sense?
Surely it’s pure hubris to advise the third birth, even after the success of the second. It’s like playing Russian roulette a second time. When it’s not your own life!
I wonder if Dr Lee realises that she has diced twice with lives which could have turned out as tragically terrible physically as that of her patient’s?
I wonder too what Dr Lee would have done to compensate her patient’s mum and new sibling had the mother delivered yet another damaged child, because the good doctor’s logic and sixth sense failed?