Just now during Journal Club, part of the ethics-related article discussed about management of resources, and its connection with decisions on patient management. I was then reminded of a Hadith by our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH and family). I can’t recall the exact words but I sure took in the essence of it:

“Even if there’s a river behind your house, there’s no need to use so much water for ablution.”

It means, even if there’s so much water, use judiciously, just right for your needs. For ablution (that’s cleaning parts of our body before prayers/reading Quran etc) one do not need much water. And if you could keep it till the next prayer time, why not.

It goes the same for other things in this world.

From things as simple as electricity, food, water, money….because you never know when you’ll be taken off all that.

It stays true for us medical personnels, especially when we’re living in a comfortable country.
Example, using gauze, syringes, canullae…we usually simply use the 10mL syringe for almost anything, not realising that it may be the last of the stock before the next one comes in next week. We do a lot of unnecessary procedures, write up many unnecessary medications, just because we can. Sometimes when treatment is most likely to be futile we still do something just because we can.

Hence the ethical discussion we had (actually, the people in the case had). That man has fairly good prognosis, only if he’s compliant to his medications, and takes care of himself well. But his only interest in life is tobacco and alcohol, and he’s homeless (runs away from the welfare home after a week there). Spending thousands of dollars for his anti-retroviral (HIV) therapy alone may lead to different pros and cons – towards him, and the society.

Those thoughts led me back to Rasulullah’s words. Although it seems like such a simple guide for life, but when you think deeper about it, you’d find that it covers so many aspects in this life that we may never imagine.