‘Killing Mercy’ – A poem by Dr Murtaza Ghiya

Categories: Opinion and People & Places.

The Indian Association of Palliative Care celebrated this year’s World Poetry Day by publishing ‘A symphony of Words: A collection of poems‘ penned by our very own friends from the palliative care community. We continue to share a poem, each week, for our friends to enjoy!

The poem for this week, Poem #8 of 25..


‘Killing Mercy’ by Dr Murtaza Ghiya, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Human lives
Likes waves of the sea
They ebb and flow
So just let them be!

Many an ailing soul
Stuck in critical care
A dozen tubes already a-fix
Yet we continue repair.

They marched in for rounds
In strict hierarchical lines
Focused on beeping monitors
But not the patients whines.

“Let’s ask the patient”
Spoke a junior medical grad,
The professor barked in fury
“Have you lost it, young lad?”

“The family wants to go
Both Above and beyond
So let’s just keep swishing
Our pricey medical wand”!

“No killing for mercy
Lest get dragged to court
Medicine is not a noble science
It’s just a clever sport”

The boy said a silent prayer,
“When I catch an incurable bug,
I want not any painful tubes,
Just give many a crushing hug.”

“We’ll change the law”
Said he, feeling wise and smug;
“We’ll let them do it,
We’ll let them pull my plug”!


About the poet: 

Dr Murtuza Ghiya is an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine, and an Intensivist for the Trust ICU, K J Somaiya Medical College, Mumbai. He was sensitised to the principles of palliative care during his medical education training at St Johns Medical College Hospital, Bengaluru, and is now an advocate for palliative care.


To read poems from the entire collection, please click here.

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