About Ethics and Cure

The protest against SCC, Bangalore has triggered an interesting debate- Stammering Cure. Cure in medical terms is achieved when the health is restored back to it’s normal state after being affected by a disease, and the symptoms of the disease no longer exist. For instance, if I had malaria, one major symptom would be- I would be getting high fever accompanied with shivering. When I go to the doctor, he assures me cure with his medications. I take the course of the medicine and gradually observe that the symptoms begin to diminish, and finally I will cease to have high fever and other symptoms. In the same context, if we consider stammering, and sit back and think about the symptoms of stammering, it would be- sudden blocks experienced into the speech system while trying to speak, leading to lack of co-ordination of breathing and talking, resulting into a distorted and broken speech. Let’s leave aside the secondary symptoms and the emotional baggage for time being. Now, what would cure mean in such circumstances? Anything that promises a cure should stop the symptoms. Once cured, those sudden blocks during speech will no longer be experienced, thus leading to a smooth flow of air and speech, and end result- FLUENCY! Has medical science been able to offer this yet to people who stammer? Is there a 5-day (or rather 15-day) course of some therapy or even medications- a few tablets and may be syrup and the blocks disappear? Unfortunately, this miracle has not yet happened! Stammering and it’s causes and so to speak it’s cure has continued to be an unsolved mystery. Now, continuing with our analogy- what would happen if there was a doctor claiming to cure malaria in just 1 day?! He would certainly pull a lot of crowd. Now what if he treats the patients by a paracetamol like Crocin, applies cotton soaked in cologne-water on the forehead and tells the patient to sleep for 6 hours with a thick blanket? The paracetamol will certainly bring down his high fever within hours. The shivering will also stop, and the patient will feel much better when his body temperature is back to normal! And the doctor says- “Voila! You are cured! Your body temperature is normal! I have cured you within 6 hours!” Is this ethical on the doctor’s part? Definitely not! Now, on the protest. Medically, it is unethical to promise a cure for a disease or a condition which has no known cure, and can only be controlled. Leave aside stammering- diseases like Diabetes and Parkinson’s disease don’t have a cure, but can be controlled. For such patients, if I am not wrong, doctors would never promise a ‘sure cure’. With regards to stammering, for many of us, controlling our stammering effectively is cure! I came across many PWS who often say- Hrithik has cured his stammer! Dr. Sachin is cured too! And so are Gareth Gates (UK Pop singer) and Julia Irani! But have they stopped experiencing those sudden blocks? It’s the ethics that is being questioned here… Medically and scientifically, attaining control over a condition or a disease is NOT A CURE! Be it Diabetes, or Parkinson’s or Stammering!

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Post Author: Harish Usgaonker

5 thoughts on “About Ethics and Cure


    (May 25, 2011 - 5:14 am)

    Thank you sir. you explained very well . you give the exact definition of word CURE. hope now people understand that there is no instant cure for it. it only can managed upto 100%.


    (May 25, 2011 - 8:07 am)

    Very rightly said Harish! A lot of people think that TISA is "jealous" because Mr Patha Bagchi is charging money which TISA is doing for free but the real reason is Ethics. He is knowingly or unknowing creating more troubles for PWS by creating a wrong image of stammering as something WE DO, and also attracting them by emotionally black-mailing PWS and parents of cws, using his website!


    (May 25, 2011 - 10:14 am)

    Very well explained about getting "cured".


    (May 25, 2011 - 11:23 am)

    Harish- you are right. I still stammer. And if Partho Bagchi, also stammers (two of his ex students have said so to me)- THAT is perfectly FINE. Who cares?
    Only if, someone is trying to mislead others by saying- "I was a severe stutterer for 26 years, and I am cured now- and you too can be cured in 2 weeks by doing XYZ"- Now that is something, which must be questioned.
    I just received another email, showing how young people keep falling in the trap BECAUSE, we the older PWS, dont care to challenge such claims in PUBLIC:
    i am a stutter . i want to cure my stammer. i have taken 10 days speech therapy course in mp maihar. i did not gain any prifit. only i lost my money. where is ur centre ? how much money will be needed ? how much time will be taken?

    Should I refer him to SCC, Banglore for another try, who knows he might benefit?


    (May 26, 2011 - 3:57 pm)

    Yes! We can certainly refer him to SCC. Some of the techniques may even help him. But he shouldn't pursue the course anticipating that his stammer will be cured and disappear magically. Because when it doesn't, the iceberg grows deeper…

    @ Dr. Sachin,
    Yes, Mr. Bagchi still stammers. I will be the third ex-student telling you this… I didn't notice it during our first short meeting. But I did notice it when I was doing the 15 day crash course. But, he can come out of his blocks really well… And that is what he is teaching his students…

    What JP said in his comments is very correct – "He is knowingly or unknowingly creating more troubles…" I guess, Mr. Bagchi doesn't have enough knowledge and awareness – the kind we get exposed to in TISA. Hence, I feel, Mr. Bagchi should not take TISA as an enemy. He should open his mind like an empty cup, and start talking with us……

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