Materia Medica Malaysiana

May 28, 2008

MMA: Explain ‘licensed to kill’ statement

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 11:56 am

Star: PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) is demanding a full clarification over Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad’s statement that doctors were “licensed to kill”.
“We are not sure in what circumstances this word ‘to kill’ was used and as such a full clarification would be helpful,” its president Datuk Dr Khoo Kah Lin said in a statement yesterday.
He said the association wanted to impress on the public that doctors were only licensed to heal and supported patients by helping to ease suffering due to illnesses.
Any death, which happened during the course of treatment, was due to the severity of the disease, he said.
“Any negligent cause of death during treatment is answerable. This is to reassure the public that neither the Malaysian Medical Council nor the MMA condones the notion that doctors are licensed to kill at any point in time,” he added.
It was reported that Dr Abdul Latiff had in the Dewan Rakyat on Monday wanted to adopt the James Bond movie Licence to Kill when replying to a supplementary question by Alexander Nanta Linggi (BN – Kapit) during Question Time.
Dr Abdul Latiff said doctors were given the “licence to heal” as well as the “licence to kill.”
He later retracted his statement but said he would not apologise.
Dr Khoo said the association was shocked to read about the remark uttered by Dr Abdul Latiff, adding it was unfortunate that he had “blurted out such a remark.”
Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai, when asked by reporters yesterday, said he had the highest regard for doctors.
He said it was an ethical profession where the doctors “had the heart” to save lives.
“And the ministry has always ensured that negligence is minimal,” he said after witnessing the signing of a memorandum of cooperation between Kojadi Institute, Ikram Skills and Retraining Academy and ABS Consulting.

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