View Feed
Coffee Room
Discuss anything here - everything that you wish to discuss with fellow engineers.
12915 Members
Join this group to post and comment.
Mayur Pathak
Mayur Pathak • Sep 26, 2006

Case reloaded: Was Ram guilty?

Case Study:
Hello all, kindly read on and answer the question below.

There was a municipal hospital in old Sion, Mumbai where worked a guy called Ram. He was 65 yrs old and had devoted all his life to this hospital. Ram was a very nice, jovial and polite person. He was very popular in the hospital not only because of his nature but also because of his ethics and honesty. He had stood by the hospital through its thick and thin and done all types of work.. starting from sweeping the floors to actually managing the patients in doctors absence.

However as he grew old, his efficiency to work started declining. So he was no longer able to take care of all his responsibilities. However, instead of booting him out, hospital management offered him a new task.. that of registering the patients who came in the outside patients department. His job was to note down the details of the patient, take a brief history and depending on the illness direct him to the concerned doctor. Now as he was a disciplinarian, during rush hours he would request patients to queue in front of the desk irrespective of the severity of illness.

One day on a crowded afternoon, as Ram was busy attending patients.. one elderly woman approached him and requested that her son to be attended first. She said that he was badly suffering from a heart ailment and was lying in the corridor. However Ram refused to let her in. He has spent 45 years in that hospital and was aware of such gimmicks. He asked her to stand in the line. So as a result, the woman's earnest pleadings fell on deaf ears. Finally she left and never came back.

On his way home, Ram kept wondering about what happened to that woman. He couldn't get her out of her mind. But he continued working like all other days. 2 months passed. One day, he saw a mad woman in the market. She was pelting stones on a doctor's dispensary. Some people were trying to cool her down. When Ram enquired, he came to know that the woman's son died 2 months back because some hospital refused to attend him. She got a terrible shock and lost her senses. When Ram went nearer, he was astonished to see the same woman. Ram was terrified, he lost his concentration, lost his sleep.. and 15 days later, lost his life as he fell down from the 8th storey of the hospital building.

Question: Was Ram guilty??
Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • Sep 27, 2006
My view

Good case study, thanks Mr. Editor 😁

Here comes my analysis:

The first paragraph tells a lot about Ram's nature. He is no doubt an old, wise man. Ram is a dedicated & loyal employee of Hospital. This is also confirmed by the management's decision to keep Ram on the staff even if he couldn't perform well because of his old age.

The second paragraph of the CS confirms that Ram is an asset to the hospital & has a good record.

Check out the following line from third paragraph :

He has spent 45 years in that hospital and was aware of such gimmicks.
Couple of things must be considered. It is evident that the Hospital did not have a separate ward to handle emergency. In past, there might have been numerous cases where people gimmicked their way into the hospital.

In given situation, it was the best choice for Ram to rely on his experience. Yet I'm not convinced that Ram never had such a situation during 45 years of his career with Hospital. It can be ignored for the analysis's sake ( 😁 )

Overall, Ram did his duty. I'm convinced that he would have handled the situation differently if the hospital had arrangements for handling emergency.

Therefore, I think Ram is not guilty.

-The Big K-
aashima • Sep 27, 2006
Good one

Nice case study!!
Well Ram proved himself as big asset for the hospital by working there for over 45 long years and might have witnessed numerous emegency conditions. He made a good decision of attending the patients in a regulated and organised manner asking them to be in a queue.
As mention that he might have came across the emegencies then he also might have observed the way doctors handle them and the consequences if they go ignored. When a patient arrives in the hospital due to a mishap, its a human nature that he/she will be impatient and nervous. It becomes the duty of the attendant to satisfy the visitor, calm him'her, and satisfy him by giving a rough look to his/her acquaintance. This can make the person a bit satisfied. Majorly in case of something serious doctor can be informed as well.
But if its the case of many patients at the moment, then arrangements must be done to tackle them all intead of playing with people's lives.
Neha • Sep 27, 2006
In my opinion,Ram wasn't guilty at all. What ram did,was his duty and nothing else.As he is connected to people only thats the reason this question came to our mind.Had he been connected to some Gas Agency or somewhat like that and someone asked him to free him(customer) first coz he was in hurrry and if he did it we would have strongly opposed him..isn't it??
Now,most of you would reply the post saying we are talking of persons/human beings here and not materialistic things but the thing is duty is the same.If he had allowed the lady then someone else's life might be at stake..Well that was my opinion lets see what do CE-ans have to say!!
Mayur Pathak
Mayur Pathak • Sep 27, 2006
He was guilty !!

Thank you all for replying and submitting your views. I'm glad you liked my case.

In my opinion, Ram was guilty. Although he was doing his job, I think his job was also to take of the patients and guide the new ones. So wasn't his responsibility to direct the patients to correct doctor? There might be other occasions when Ram had tackled emergency patients... as it says he worked for 45 yrs. So was that experience less for him to find out who was genuine and who was a gimmick?

He was guilty... although I think he did wrong by committing suicide.
Neha • Sep 27, 2006
Okay let us assume that he agreed to see her son first but what about other ones who were standing in queue for a long time and secondly, there are lots of emergencies approaching in a hospital everyday, if every one is taken care of then there would be no time left for the normal cases.
Its not that I am not thinking about the person's life, I am but the question is "Is Ram guilty or not?" and thats no because what he did was his duty.
Mayur Pathak
Mayur Pathak • Sep 27, 2006
May be

May be...

I'm not saying that he should have left other patients in tatters and allow the woman to go. But he could atleast have arranged for some one, just to check whether the woman was genuine or not. Which he didn't do. So he must accept his mistake for not taking any appropriate step.

Well, CEans will have their own say on this.. Lets analyse all replies and the poll results.
Neha • Sep 27, 2006
Yeah! he could have done that I agree...lets see what do CE-ans say and as u said wait for the results
A reality case must say.

The case represents a bitter fact of life.
Hospital is a place where each patient is to be treated equally.No matter his religion,social class etc but that is rarely seen.But what is generally observed is each hospital tries to abide by the rules it lays down.And had there been no rules to follow the patient would have ran from one place to other with no clue as to where they should go.So Ram who was an old and polite person was a man who liked to follow ethics and thus worked more efficiently(implied by the fact that he progressed from the sweepers job to the current job profile and that the management didnot consider a layoff but re-positioned him .)
And he was just following his ethics and doing his job.It is not clearly stated as to how much time did the lady spend and how effectively she conveyed the message that her son was serious.I know many must be wondering over the time and seriousness relation.Friends it is directly proportional. The more serious problem the more time we tend to spend to convince.Had been the lady standing there and had ram not attended her then it would have been a fault of ram.But in the case the lady didnot stay back. And if she stayed back it was only his duty to consult the doctor because deciding wheather the paitent is serious is no way his job just because he doesnot have the knowledge. But yes he can leave the decision to Dr. after telling them about the scenario.
Besides it is stated that Ram worked in sion,now this area has a lot of hospitals.So the lady could have approached another hospital but again not given in the case wheather she did or not.
And in the climax it is just been given that he fell not necessarily mean that he commited suicide.Considering his age he must have felt some giddiness or may be he went near the window and must have suddenly felt nausectic of the depth since he was on 8th floor or may be anything else.So this the analysis from my part.Ram was not guilty.
Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • Sep 27, 2006
Doctor's Analysis

The case represents a bitter fact of life.
Hospital is a place where each patient is to be treated equally.
Muwahahaha 😁 ! Are you against the human race 😁

Joking, sorry!

I just had a chat with my Grandpa who is a doctor (retd.). This case study, indeed, is a real one! I admit, I think differently now. This is how my Grandpa analysed it -

Ram is not a newbie in the medical field. He must have gone through various difficult situations during his career. Now any man, who has worked in a hospital for 45 years, should be able to judge a heart patient just by observing his facial expressions.

When the woman requested Ram to let her see the doctor, Ram should have cared to see her son. He would then have had a clear idea if the woman was lying to him. But he did not.
He asked her to stand in the line. So as a result, the woman's earnest pleadings fell on deaf ears.
This is stupid. An experienced man in Medical field would never do this. In the given CS, Ram wasn't busy attending other emergency. He should have at least cared to see the woman's son. He did not live up to his profession. He realized the same when he heard about woman's story. It was no wonder that he lost his consciousness.

Ram was of course, Guilty.

-The Big K-

I'm flexible enough to change my opinion 😁 . What my Grandpa said, perfectly makes sense.
Mayur Pathak
Mayur Pathak • Sep 28, 2006
Analysis No. 3

Hey Integratd Brains & Big K

Good analysis. I think this case is turning out to be an emotional outing. With Biggie's grandpa also joining in, I guess we have a game on hand now.

Anyway, See there are a lot of assumptions that we can make on this. The case says that Ram was a very genuine and polite person. Now you can not expect such a negligence from a man who is 65 yrs of age with a 45 yrs of work experience handling patients. Never the less, we can not rule out a possibility that the place was over crowded and Ram couldn't afford to leave the registration desk just to see the woman's son.

Next, when your son is serious, you can not measure one's effectiveness in convincing. The woman must be in a trauma herself. Now in this situation you can not show patience. So there was no point why the lady could have stayed back. Atleast if I was in her place, I would have taken my son to some other hospital (considering Sion has many hospitals). But what if he died on his way to another hospital?

The point here is that Ram behaved in a bureaucratic manner, like a government servant (although I accept that he was only doing his job). Hence he is guilty.

His falling down from the building can be purely a coincidence. We have no proof of the suicide.

Your say..
As K's Grandpa said, maybe Ram thought about it later and realised that he had faltered in his profession. He may not have committed suicide since the falling could have been an accident also. Since he felt guilty deep within after seeing the old woman, he may not have been careful about his steps when he was on the top floor.

I feel that being in the Medical service field for 45 years gives his enough experience to have a look at the patient and see whether a gimmick or otherwise. It is a bare fact of life and sometimes these things do happen.

The death of Ram is not definitely justified because of this mistake.
aashima • Sep 28, 2006

I go for it!!! I too agree with the point that if Ram's falling from the building is a suicide, then thats no justified action. Suicide is not a practical solution to any problenm but as far as Ram's being guilty or not is concerned, I think he is.
Mayur Pathak
Mayur Pathak • Sep 28, 2006
Reply by one of my collegues

Hey All,

Find below a reply by one of my collegues in the office. Although I urged her to submit herself, but she wishes to keep her identity secret.

My opinion regarding Ram being culprit.

Can we just wait for a minute before reaching to any conclusions.
Friends just a flash back in last one week about your work, your life !! So how many times you lied to get an early ticket so that you do not have to stand in the big queue, how many times you made some stupid excuse so that you can give a valid explaination to your boss about the work not done, the report not submitted, coming late or going early or telling your parents why you came home at 2 at night etc etc etc. and just for the sake that you play safe and your work gets done

This is your side of the story how about the person at next side who is believing you and giving you the first place in the queue so that you can get the ticket first, your boss who is keeping good faith though the work is not complete. Your parents trusting you eyes closed. And numerous other as well who would include your family, friends and well wishers.

So some day your part of the story will definately be disclosed to those people who trust others. So how about them now? Are they in a position to help some other person again? Think...

Have you kept them in a position they can "Trust" some "Human Being" again?
Now tell me who is the culprit? Ram, who did not allow the patient as he was "used to all this gimmick" ? Or the people who someday broke that "TRUST" of Ram? I am sure Ram must have gone through such situation before in his "45 years of service" and must have not reacted in such a manner at the first case!!

So who is the culprit?
Are you against the human race -biggie
What? I am telling you that,that is the case in real life. Ask your grandfather how many times(may be in other hospitals or may be his own friends) has he seen a VIP with headache getting admitted first than an ordinary person with some serious problem.(when the hospital is full and can admit only one paitent.)
One day on a crowded afternoon, as Ram was busy attending patients -given in case.
We are not making any assumptions! I donot deny the fact that he could have seen her son but then how is he supposed to leave his desk which is crowded and 'which may have been a serious patient himself'!(an assumption of course.)
'Next, when your son is serious, you can not measure one's effectiveness in convincing. The woman must be in a trauma herself. Now in this situation you can not show patience.'-mayur
Exactly thats what i am saying that one's son is serious there is no need to convince because the emotion and face say's it all and 65 old chap with a 45 yrs exp (note that his previous job was different and must have confronted him with many such cases and he must have been able to make out who was lying and who was telling truth because in hospitals if you are a keen observer see what the sweepers do when they are not doing work!😀 ) So it is unfair to say that he didnot live up to his profession.
This case is of an attendant,note that an attendant is not to take decisions and if he does then he better be screwed for not doing his job well.This case may be different for different individuals for my sis who is a Dr. considers Ram guilty but then it is just her position and designation that makes her think that way.(had she been caught in a similar situation I know what would have been the case.)
bureaucratic manner, like a government servant (although I accept that he was only doing his job)
Ending up my analysis on a lighter note mayur you are contradicting yourself!! Gov emp have jobs.. but they realize that only on the salary day rest all days are rest days!! 😁
aashima • Sep 30, 2006
Hmmm... this thread is getting more and more interesting!!!
Well as far as Mayur's friend's reply is concerned, can a cricket queue be actually compared to the queue in the hospital. I would like to mark that the cases of a hospital in every respect are aloof of all the other fields of life. How can u associate buying a ticket with someone's life?? Thats correct that we are living in a world where trusting anyone can be a big problem but if we suppose ourselves in place of Ram, is it entirely the case of trust only? Is the reason of living in an untrustable world enough for Ram not to attend an emergency? Well in this case, I disagree.
And as for Namrata, dear VIPs always succeed to get their desired special attention. But the lady was no speacial person. And going by your words, had it been a case of a VIP. then Ram would have attented her right away. Where would his duty go then? Where does his ethics of treating everyone equal play? What I think is he should have studied the importance of the crucial moment by informomg the concerned athoritied to look into the matter as cardiac problems are them most dangerous problems when it comes t health.
"Are you against the human race?-biggie
What? I am telling you that,that is the case in real life. Ask your grandfather how many times(may be in other hospitals or may be his own friends) has he seen a VIP with headache getting admitted first than an ordinary person with some serious problem.(when the hospital is full and can admit only one paitent.) "
Dear ashima i think you have some misunderstanding please go through my analysis again ( i have again quoted myself for the same purpose) I am answering biggie's query i am not against the human race it is a fact that is seen generally in day to day life. You see the hospital authorities overlook the common mans case to a VIPs case. Whatever i said was in nowhere related to the case.
Mayur Pathak
Mayur Pathak • Sep 30, 2006
Hey Aashima and Namrata,

Please take it easy. I guess the analysis should not take a personal turn. Anyway, I think no one here is against the human race. I guess biggie intended a joke when he wrote it. As far as VIPs are concerned, they anyway get a personal treatment whereever they go. So a VIP will not required to go to Ram's desk and wait for his directives. He will straight away march into the dean of the hospital and demand facilities.

Favoritism here is not in picture. Because we are debating on duty v/s humanity. Although Ram chose duty, he never behaved in human. Possibly out of frustration or work pressure, he chose not to pay attention to the woman, which is why he should be guilty.
Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • Sep 30, 2006
Integratdbrains, of course I was jocking. 😕 If every patient gets treated equally, the human race is in danger 😀 .

Jokes apart, the Case Study on the table is in fact a real one. My Grandpa has faced 100 of such situations. Moreover, consider this -

This case is of an attendant,note that an attendant is not to take decisions and if he does then he better be screwed for not doing his job well.
An attendent *must* make decisions. An attendent in a hospital cannot be a dumb robot who just asks people to stand in row and writes down their names. Keep in mind that Ram has been with the hospital for 40 years! He should have at least seeked help from a colleague in such a situation. But he did not.

After all, Ram did not take an effective decision in the given situation. This struck to him when he saw the woman again.

Of course, he was guilty.

-The Big K-
p.s: Easy on emotions, everyone! 😀
Cool it.

Analysis is just an analysis and as i have said earlier it can differ from one individual to other.I was nowhere trying to pinpoint anyone but made my point clearer! I shouldn't make mistake in conveying my thoughts, isn't it?
And biggie had the attendant been a dumb robot we wouldn't have required a case study on him! Had he been having colleages who were co operative they would have taken up the case and helped him in diagonising the truth of the lady's son's plight.I am sure anyone would have done that atleast to lessen the poor old man's work! 😒
thisisananth • May 4, 2009
Actually this case is a little tricky. If it would have been any other place other than a hospital there would not have been any debate here.

The real problem is the hospital not having an emergency wing to attend. If there was an emergency wing and an emergency code, Ram would have acted based on that. The persons who have given the job to him haven't adequately trained or sensitized him to the job. It is as much their mistake as his. But if he see it only from Ram's perspective...

Ram with his experience might have thought that they are just overacting to beat the queue and hence he didnt care about her words. He was acting according to his training, he might not have seen the woman's son.

And then why did he feel guilty - Because his insensitivity and sticking to rules has resulting in one person losing his life, so he felt guilty. He feels guilty and he is guilty but i dont think he needs to be punished for that because it was a split decision to be taken and the case can be argued both ways.

It is a pretty standard practice to see the urgent cases, cater to them and then work on the other cases...

Ram missed doing this and he is guilty but not guilty for punishment as - He didnt have the malicious intent of kiling her son...

And finally he repented for his mistake...
ank.hesh • Jun 2, 2009
First thing didn't the hospital have an emergency ward. (It should have one when the case has specifically mentioned an OPD). If it did certainly Ram was not at fault a hundred times over.
Well if it didn't. Ram was at fault after all. Ethics are important but not to the limit that they make some one's life frugal. Ethics can not be used as a blindfold for maneuvering and controlling a human breath. Never.😡
Mayur Pathak
Mayur Pathak • Jun 3, 2009
whats this? An old case being revisited after 3 years?
gohm • Jun 5, 2009
A lot more info is needed, however at this point I would say not guilty to him by what info was provided however the hospital was guilty ofnegligence both for hiring an unqualified person for the role of admitance/triage check-in as well as an unorganized triage department.
Yes Mayur generally courts solve the cases late , thus we too conclude the case late 😀
kashish0711 • Jun 16, 2009
he should have listened to the women and if not anything, then send someone may be a compounder or nurse to check if his son was really serious.

Thinking that this is just another women trying to trick him for getting in before everyone else was the biggest mistake he made in his career. Even if the women was doing that just for getting still he should have got that checked instead of just ignoring her.

He was guilty for me.

You never get perfect in anything and therefore you should never take anything for granted.

That's my opinion. Sure and shot.

and if he did suicide then he made the second biggest mistake.

edit: omg post date 26th September 2006 hehe lolz

Share this content on your social channels -