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A little does of religion - prescription for row - The Indian Express

S Gopinath Reddy ()
November 12, 1998

Title: A little does of religion - prescription for row
Author: S Gopinath Reddy
Publication: The Indian Express
Date: November 12, 1998

The lying Hospital of Operation Blessing International which
was launched two days ago has run into controversy for
persuading patients to pray and listen to a sermon on what he
message of Jesus Christ is=94.

The hospital describes the prayer as preading the message of

However, some local doctors associated with the camp protested
ixing religion with medical treatment. One of them has even
conveyed his protest in writing that reaching religion is
against medical ethics

According to Ramana Reddy of Tadipatri, he was asked to pray for
five minutes after he being treated for a dental problem. He

e are not forcing patients to offer prayers. Some are
responding positively and others are not, said Dr Kenneth

Speaking to ENS at the camp, Dr Hunziker said it was natural to
spread the message of Jesus Christ on such missions, refuting,
however, that religious conversions were the motive.

he camp is being organised to meet the physical and spiritual
needs of the people here, Dr Kenneth pointed out.

Chief physician of the camp, Dr Vaughan Hall, told ENS that one
of their aims was to ffer Jesus Christ to patients.

Dr Hall, however, clarified that all doctors were advised not to
compel patients to offer prayers or listen to Christ's message.
t all depends upon doctors and individual patients. If they
accept Jesus Christ as the saviour, it is okay, he said and
added that those who want to know more about God are taken to
counselling centres.

Mickey Salvant, clinic supervisor, who was busy making the
arrangements for treatment observed: e are here to serve the
people only on the message of God.

Meanwhile, utter chaos and confusion prevailed yesterday at the
pre-registration camp where hundreds of patients were seen
waiting for treatment. Syed Kareemulla, a resident of
Bhavaninagar, said that he waited till five on Monday evening
only to be told to come back the next day.

herefore, I was asked to come back this morning. Now they are
asking me to have my polio affected son's name registered once
again, he said. After his return to the camp he put the boy in
a tent and joined hundreds of people at the registration centre.

Some local representatives of a community were seen using their
influence for preferential treatment to patients of their
choice. When this was pointed out, Dr Hagen pleaded ignorance:
SMy job is to treat the patient. I don't see whether he is poor
or rich, he averred.

With the crowds swelling by the hour, some have even started
making a fast buck by selling the registration tokens for Rs 200
to 500 each.

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